Good news at the Cape Leopard Trust: we captured a female leopard three nights ago, a leopard Quinton knows well.
Quinton was monitoring the cage using our VHF trap transmitters when he heard the trap was triggered. He rushed down on foot and found it was F5 “Lizzy”. She is at least 11 years old, the oldest female monitored on the project. We captured her in one of the walk-through trap set up in Leeuvlak, a canyon where there are tons of leopards scats and tracks!
Putting the GPS collar to Lizzy – Picture: Rika du Plessis
Great news is that Lizzy has a cub of about a year old. The Cape Leopard Trust remote cameras photographed him last October when he was probably 4-5 months old. Cute isn’t it? (I like his big belly – I’m sure it’s a male!).
Lizzy’s cub photographed by one of the Cape Leopard Trust remote cameras last October – Picture: The Cape Leopard Trust
The capture went well and I (like the rest of the team) was happy to see Lizzy lying calmly in the cage, waiting when we arrived. She had been captured in the same cage in 2008 – I wonder if she remembers… She didn’t have any injury on her teeth or claws and no bruise on her face. She was a bit dehydrated (she is an old lactating female) but Dr. Mark Walton, our vet, transfused her during the collaring process to be sure she’d be perfectly ok when waking up. She was full of ticks so Mark also administered an anti-parasite shot and we collected some of the ticks. We were pleased to see her recover well from the drugs and left her in peace as soon as she was up.
Checking the teeth have not been damaged in the cage. They are pretty used, confirming Lizzy is an old female – Picture: Marine Drouilly
On the (long) way back up, I was fortunate to hear Mark and his friend singing the French National Anthem and some other French songs. I went back to the Driehoek farm at 3:30 am and was awake at 7:00 am to close some of our traps for the day. I have to say that I was a bit tired but very happy. I think I’ve written enough and I let you enjoy some pictures of the beauty.
Lizzy with the GPS collar – Picture: Marine Drouilly
Part of the capture team with the collared female, just before she woke up and left the area – Picture: Rika du Plessis
Enjoy your week-end! Here it’s autumn and we have beautiful tree colors in Driehoek.