It is a great blessing to witness nature doing its thing in a natural setting, and to come across a rarely seen leopard mating ritual is a thrill to say the least. While on safari with Tim Brown Tours we managed to capture this fascinating footage of a flirting female leopard trying to grab the attention of her male counterpart.
A female leopard on heat attracts males by the smell of her urine when she has gone into oestrus and her hormones are at a level at which she is able to produce eggs. The male will latch onto her scent using a gland on his palate that is able to measure hormone levels. The couple will likely stay together for several days, during which time they will mate repeatedly before going their separate ways.
To see a leopard in the wild requires a combination of a bit of know-how and pure luck. Each time is a pure adrenaline rush! To see a solitary big cat that is as elusive as a leopard with another of its own species is even better and is worth every second spent searching for them.
On this occasion during a day safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve we found lions within our first moments in the reserve and a question came from the clients about the chances of finding a leopard.
I actually remember having a little laugh and replied, “They are nocturnal creatures and it is so rare to see them on a day tour that if we do I’ll buy all of you lunch.” Two hours later I ate my words, and my clients ate the lunch I bought for them. I must be honest it was the best feeling in the world to be buying that lunch for everyone!
See more animal sightings on the Tim Brown Tours YouTube channel.