A leopard who loves climbing trees

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When looking for leopards, as a guide, I often get asked the question, "Are we going to find the leopard in a tree?". My answer is, "Probably not, as although leopards are completely at home up in the branches of a tree they are mostly terrestrial either sleeping, patrolling or hunting on the ground. So it will most likely be, that if we are to find a leopard it will be on the ground." On one occasion when asked this question we were following up on tracks of a female leopard. After a long tracking session of almost two hours we were rewarded with a memorable sighting of a female leopard and guess what, she was in a tree! Leopards climb trees for many reasons, to cache a kill, to rest undisturbed by other animals, to get some shade from the foliage, a good vantage point, a good escape route - these are just a few reasons. Salayexe, the dominant female and the female in these images, loves climbing trees and the symbolic image of a leopard folded over the branches of a Marula tree is one that we have become so familiar with when finding this beautiful female. (Field Guide: Liam Rainier)

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Wednesday, 22 November 2017