The Xidulu leopardess has two new cubs
Something very special happened… Tracker Norman and Guide Jordan tracked and found the Xidulu female with two new cubs!
During an evening game drive, we found Xidulu feeding on a kill on Simbambili close to where she was denning. We saw that she had suckle marks during this sighting so we knew she would be going back to her new cubs straight after the sighting.
The next morning, Guide Jordan and Tracker Norman took it upon themselves to follow her tracks from the night before. They followed them for about 3km while guests watched. They followed them all the way into a drainage line not far from Arathusa Lodge. They stopped the vehicle here and Norman (with Jordan following him) walked down into the embankment. The relaxed Xidulu looked up and turned her head to them. At that moment, Norman saw 2 babies (of about 3.5 weeks old) suckling on her. They turned around immediately and got back into the vehicle. They managed to reposition the vehicle to view her and the cubs without disturbing them.
Interestingly, we also found tracks of the male leopard Tortoise Pan close to Xidulu’s tracks when she was walking from the kill site to her densite on Arathusa. He is undoubtedly the father of those cubs.
We had originally thought that Xidulu was denning on Simbambili and there is no way that these little cubs walked all the way to Arathusa. So Xidulu probably carried the cubs one by one within the last week or so.
It is really really special that a guide and tracker come upon the first sighting of Xidulu and her new cubs. It was an extremely special morning for us and our guests.
We look forward to seeing good sightings of Xidulu with her 2 cubs in the future.