Leopard Cubs: OK Cub at 5 Months
Shot at Mala Mala Game Reserve, South Africa in January 2011 with the Canon 1D Mark IV and 500mm f/4
This was a special leopard cub sighting that we almost missed. That because we spent all morning watching Mom - the Ostrich Koppie female - stuck up a tree because a lioness had her trapped in a stalemate. Unknown to us at first, the lioness had crept up and was hiding right behind our rear tire. That's why Mom kept looking our way and you can even see the frown on her face. A short distance away, there was also a large male lion keeping an eye on Mom as well. We wanted Mom to escape so that we could hopefully see her remaining cub.
Before we noticed the lions, we thought that Mom was just chilling out in a tree because it was clear that she had just eaten. Anyway, it wasn't until we drove away for a quick break that we noticed the expressive, obedient and very patient 5 mo. old cub hiding quietly in a 2nd tree, located right behind where we had orginally been parked. So lesson learned - always look up and around and investigate from different angles.
The next day, we returned to look for the leopards but they were gone. Fortunately, they escaped safely and were holed up in a new hiding place. After a while, Mom determined that it was safe and they finally came out for a bit of exercise.
All images © Christina J. Prestegard 2004 - 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.