Watch: Leopard mother and cub's affectionate play captured on camera
Footage from a Sabi Sands camera trap shows some of the intimate details of a leopard’s feeding habits‚ behaviour‚ and the bond between a mother and cub.
Umkumbe Safari Lodge guide Marius Zeilinga placed the camera trap at the location of a fresh leopard kill.
The footage shows the mother - known as White Dam - and cub feeding intermittently on the carcass throughout the day and night‚ but also allows a rare glimpse into a leopard’s life that is not often seen.
White Dam’s youngster demonstrates what he has learnt from his mother by clinging to the face and neck of the already dead impala and attempting to ‘suffocate’ it.
This is a skill he needs to strengthen if he is to go out and live on his own‚ which is part and parcel of being a wild leopard.
The mother leopard’s patience and reciprocation shown to her cub’s playful antics is heart-warming‚ the lodge says. He pounces on her from a hiding place behind a tree trunk and she flies through the air in fright. She then approaches him for a nuzzle of affection‚ reaffirming their bond.
Literature describes how leopards pluck the fur or feathers from their prey before eating the meat‚ and this is also seen in the video. Eventually‚ darkness falls and the leopards can be seen feeding on the carcass and then dragging it into the tree before hyenas approach.
Umkumbe guides confirmed that the leopards did lose this kill to the scavenging hyenas – they were there to witness it with their guests during a game drive.