Rare Encounter: Aquila's Cape Leopards Make an Appearance

Cape Town, August 09 , 2018

Cape Town’s closest Big 5 safari, Aquila Private Game Reserve and Spa is home to some of South Africa’s most iconic animals, including lions, elephants, buffalo, rhinos, and leopards. However, the nocturnal and elusive nature of Cape Leopards makes it rare and difficult to sight them in the wild. By strategically placing hidden camera traps along known animal paths, near water sources, and at sites of recent kills, Aquila’s conservation team and reserve rangers are able to gain valuable insights into the fascinating lives of these secretive felines.

As part of the Cape Leopard Monitoring Programme, motion-sensor cameras were set up at the site of three recent kills made by several of the Cape Mountain Leopards that hunt on the Reserve. The cameras were placed at the carcasses of three different Blesbok that were killed over the last month, allowing for Aquila’s staff and researchers to track the leopards’ movement and monitor their territories in the area. 

What’s even more incredible, is one of Aquila’s Rangers has logged two broad daylight sightings of a pair cape leopards during the last few months. This rare occurrence is a testament to the reserve’s continuous conservation efforts making strides in understanding and protecting these critically endangered predators.

“it is nice to have a healthy natural predation at Aquila, and although lions, elephants, buffalo and rhino are regularly seen, the leopards are elusive and until now, only spoor, scat and the carcasses of the leopard kills were seen regularly on game drives."

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