A recent leopard sighting at Shinde caught everyones attention! Leopard are, while seen relatively often in the Shinde concession, remain an unusual sighting. This sighting of a previously unknown young male, reminds us of the delicate positions even the top predators hold in the ever changing wildlife hierarchy.
Circling yellow billed kites initially aroused the interest of the ever alert guide and closer inspection of the area found a young male leopard looking anxious and peering toward an adjacent copse of bushes. On circling the island of bushes, a recently killed male reedbuck was spotted lying in the grass, and who else was lying alongside, but the ever present villain of the African bush, the spotted hyena! The hyena was fast asleep and had clearly gorged himself on the reedbuck. Several minutes later a second hyena appeared through the undergrowth and proceeded to drag the reedbuck deeper into the tall grass. Several hours later there would be no trace of the reedbuck.
Sometime later the leopard approached the spot where the reedbuck had been lying and began to lick the blood off the ground. The young male had undoubtably made the kill in the first place, and was clearly still very hungry. However in this instance, the brute strength of a pair of fully grown and very opportunistic hyena, was to take precedence. The young leopard would at least, learn an important lesson and still live to hunt another day.