Tag Archives: Leopards

Leopards in NNP

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Last week I had the pleasure of meeting up with Yumi, a zoologist from Kyoto University researching leopards in NNP, specifically looking at the conservation of these elusive cats & at interaction between leopards & people in the extraordinary periurban situation that is Nairobi National Park.

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Yumi trapped & collared 2 female leopards in the park in January this year & has been trying to keep up with them through radio signals & GPS readings showing their movements since then.

One of these is probably the individual that wakes me up at night by walking on my currugated iron roof as it was trapped along the Empakasi River next to the Masai Gate below the Silole Sanctuary where I live……Yumi estimates her age as less than 3 years old, which makes her immature..

The other moves in & out of the park from the Mukoma Road Estate into the Langata Forest. This individual is also young, but appears from the examination of her teats to have had cubs…

She has positively identified at least 5 different males & estimates the entire NNP population at between 10-20. The huge margin for error is perfectly easy to understand by those of us who are lucky enough to spot a leopard in the park….

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KWS report a female with 3 cubs in the Langata Forest. Females appear to share territory, whilst males are much less tolerant of intruders……

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If anybody has information or sightings of leopards in NNP please let me know & I will pass on to Yumi…

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A usual sighting of a leopard -a sleeping beauty almost impossible to see amongst the foliage. Leopards are mainly noctournal &  are opportunistic predators eating whatever is locally available . Not surprisingly around NNP they are very fond of eating dogs & cats including my dachshund last year…….

Photos by top cat-spotter Dave McKelvie.

NNP Leopards

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Leopards are famously elusive & those that live in & around NNP are no exception.

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Having said that we may say that chui do well in the diverse habitats of the park, with it’s rocky river gorges, forests & savannah. Here there is a wide selection of possible food, ranging from plump rock hyraxes to rodents & fully grown antelope of various species.

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Leopards regularly prowl on the mabati roof of my house & recently 3 adults were seen from the verandah of Silole Villa (presumably 2 grown up cubs & their mother.)

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Here are some great photographs of some of our leopards by Dave McKelvie, a great afficianado of the park & perhaps especially of it’s big cats……