2019-07-14: Babies in the bush – Leopard Cubs

During my last trip, we saw leopard cubs both in the Timbavati and in the Sabi Sands.  The cubs I spent time with on this trip were a bit older than the ones I saw during my 2017 trip, but certainly no less amazing to watch.  If you missed some of the previous posts, you can see some of the older images here and here (or just search the site for leopards).

During my time in the Timbavati, we found one leopard cub, and while in the Sabi Sands we saw one cub on a few different occasions.  These shy, beautiful cats will grow up to be stealthy hunters, but for now, they are totally reliant on their Mom for food and protection.  I absolutely believe that leopards only allow you to see them if they want you to, so having an opportunity to view these babies is an absolute thrill.

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A leopard cub rests atop a termite mound, with Mom relaxing nearby.  Mom had taken a nyala down, and as the kill was nearby and it was beginning to grow dark, all sightings of this cub and her Mom were winding down.  They do not want to do anything to put the cub at risk, so they do not use spotlights on young cubs feeding at night.
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Such a beautiful face.
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This cub was in the Sabi Sands, and was a little bit skittish.  She would come out once vehicle activity had dies down; so you needed to be quite patient to see her (Mom was very chill and unconcerned with the vehicles).  Here she comes out of the bushes at the top of a rise, heading towards Mom in the fading evening light.
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Mom’s tail makes for an excellent toy 🙂
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The last view I had of the leopard cub in the Sabi Sands.   On this occasion, she was lying close to Mom as our vehicle approached, and was comfortable enough that she didn’t move off into the bushes.

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