[Regular readers will I hope forgive me for another leopard post, and indeed it will not be the last. But I’m taking a break now for the holidays, and will be back in January.]
Leopards are solitary denizens of the secret places. Rock piles, thick brushy woodland, overhanging limbs high in an acacia. Quite unlike lions, who will casually lounge around in groups in the open grasslands.
So leopards are harder to see, unless the Ruaha evening light provides a convenient silhouette.
This young female watched us suspiciously from high in the tree, trying to decide if it was safe to stay or safer to come down and leave the area:
That elegant tail is not just decorative. It acts as a counterweight when climbing, and when dragging its kill up into the tree.
After a while the leopard returned to her high perch, draped languidly over a branch:
but without taking her eyes off us:
Their concealing habitats are places to hide their prey, which they drag into bushes and up trees where the much larger lions and hyenas are unlikely to find it (or them).
Leopard eat a huge range of animals, including tricky things like porcupines, and under certain circumstances they will even kill and eat other leopards. This rather grisly video was filmed in the Serengeti this year:
*My title is from Jeremiah 5,6 the Darby Bible version published in 1890.