Singita Pamushana

Pamushana | September 2012

If you, like me, have an insatiable curiosity for cats, leopards in particular, then this journal is for you. The photograph of the cub above is a detail of a panoramic wildlife mural in our indoor dining room, but wait until you scroll down for the real-life drama that played itself out… A fantastic piece of news this month is that we can confirm a huge nest in the cleft of a high cliff to be that of a Verreaux’s (black) eagle (Aquila verreauxii), and that she has an eaglet! We spied the jet-black markings of the mother through a telescope, feeding her chick the remains of a dassie, and although chicks have white fluffy feathers when they hatch, this little one already has a range of brown and rufous juvenile plumage. Dawn hadn’t yet cracked. I drove across an open area where all was at peace. A few hyenas loped by in the distance. A while later I turned back to check on them and saw their behaviour had changed – instead of the steady rolling gait they were now dashing in and out at the base of a dense thorn tree, their tails and fur bristling with excitement. A jackal was there too. I drove to the tree and the hyenas moved off by the time I arrived. I edged the Land Cruiser under the spiky canopy and looked straight up into the piercing stare of a leopard.