Spending Time With the Collared Leopard

Spending Time With the Collared Leopard

Nakedi Maputla

The second leopard that we collared has started giving us some valuable data. We already know that there was a considerable amount of space overlap with the previous leopard that died from porcupine inflicted injuries. Unlike the other leopard however, this one seems to spend a considerable amount of time in the open. Up to now I have been lucky to see one of his kills, which was a porcupine.

He is oozing confidence and this can be seen with his movements in front of the car. Last week I spent about seven hours with him, which was a waste of precious time as I was hoping he would do something, but he just slept, and occasionally rolled on the grass to change sides; Lazy leopard!

The good thing is that he seems to be gaining his condition, is not limping anymore and enjoys an arboreal life once in a while. Thrice we found him sitting high in the trees.

Below are a series of photographs of him that I took yesterday.

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About the Author

Nakedi Maputla is African Wildlife Foundation’s Senior Conservation Scientist. He joined AWF in 2007, working in South Africa's Limpopo region, where he comes from. Nakedi's initial work was focused on studying the great African cats to shape conservation strategies to benefit communities that he has known all his life. In 2014, Nakedi moved on from the Limpopo region, becoming AWF’s Landscape Ecologist in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was based in Djolu up to 2016, when he returned to South Africa. Until late 2018, Nakedi served as AWF’s Senior Partnership Manager, Southern Africa, representing the organization in South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana, and Namibia. He attained a Doctor of Philosophy in Zoology/Animal Biology from the University of Pretoria in 2014 and a Postgraduate Diploma in International Wildlife Conservation Practice from the University of Oxford in 2009. In addition to his BSc in Zoology/Botany, Nakedi also holds a Higher Diploma in Education and taught at a high school in Pretoria before joining AWF.