Beauty and the Beast

Later that day on the evening game drive we saw a Goliath heron. He was magnificent! We thought perhaps he was injured because when he started to walk, he clearly had one leg that seemed bent backward the wrong way and walked with a funny gate. However, Life was of the opinion that it was a birth defect and not an injury. This seemed likely as otherwise he seemed quite healthy and obviously had been capable of feeding himself thus far.

Goliath heron

Further on we had a wonderful encounter with not one, but two leopards. The first was a young male who was resting underneath a great tree. After a bit he got up and moved off to another spot close by.

While moving around in that direction for a better view, we discovered there was another leopard very close by. It was an adult female. Usually leopards do not hang out together. Kate speculated as to whether perhaps the female was the young male's mother, but we weren't sure if they were aware of each other's presence. This created some excitement about a possible interaction between the two. The female was lying in the burn area of a recent fire and so was obligingly easy to photograph and view. She treated us to some typical cat behavior. What a magnificent animal!

The female leopard

Scratch

Stretch

Having a drink

After her stretching, she got up and moved off toward where we knew the young male was lying. We high tailed it around to the other side to get a better view and watched as the male became aware of the other's presence and moved down to join her. They were indeed mother and son. They also had a kill hidden in the bushes in a little gully. Probably it had been an impala. At any rate, the mother began to feed and the son lounged nearby waiting his turn. By this time the light was beginning to fade so we watched for a while and then moved off to enjoy a sundowner with the first semblance of a sunset we'd had yet.

Lounging

Mom has an Impala snack. Yum!

 

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