Leopard Interaction Near Cubs Then Snake Appears
Part 2 of our best ever leopard sighting, following on from the previous video.
Evening is approaching and we are nearing the end of a very special afternoon watching Ithemba and her 2 tiny cubs, they seem very settled as the cubs suckle near the den.
Suddenly the familiar rasp of a male leopard echoes across the Nossob river bed, Ithemba jumps up and the cubs scurry for the den.
Natlafala (his name means courageous) arrives and Ithemba approaches him submissively as he scent marks his dominance, she paws him and lies down exposing her vulnerable underparts as a sign of submission.
In the middle of all of this male/female leopard interaction, Ithemba becomes distracted by a mole snake that arrives on the scene. She seems unsure what to do about the snake being close to her cubs so she growls at it a few times until she is satisfied and the snake disappears down a hole.
Natlafala carries on up the ridge and finds the cubs while Ithemba continues to paw him and lie down submissively. It is amazing to see a male leopard so curious with his tiny cubs at their den, 4 leopards together, WOW!
Males are not known to play any role in raising their offspring other than protecting their territory from other males. It must be very stressful for a female when an unpredictable big male is so close to such young cubs. Luckily he is such a huge dominant male and is most likely the father of the cubs. His presence in the area will probably keep any other males far far away from the cubs.
We sadly had to leave to make it back to camp in time however this truly was a once in a lifetime sighting.