Saturday, 26 March 2011

Karula's family tree - Her Son Mixo, part one.

Hi everyone!

There were some tracks of Karula around Impala plains and Impala road yesterday morning, having checked there the previous night we know she must have been on the move after sunset. I was hoping we would catch up with her on drive again, but she is being elusive once more, keeping us wanting more!

With Mixo checking in with us a couple of days ago, I thought it was time to focus on him! 

Induna on the left and Mixo and the right
Karula's second litter was the two boys Mixo and Induna. Born in November 2008, they are now just over 2 years of age and are still in their mother's territory even though she has cubs again! We have been waiting to see what will happen if she meets them and how they will react if they meet the cubs. If the cubs are with her, they may recognise them as their siblings, but it is hard to say if she will tolerate the boys being in close proximity to the new cubs especially with them being so small still.

With her tracks coming from the same area as the kill on quarantine a couple of days ago (more info in the previous Blog) and Mixo also being seen there, I would love to know if they did see each other and if they did, how they reacted! But sadly they will keep that a secret between mother and son forever! 

Mixo meaning Dawn was named by Rexon after seeing them the first time as the sun rose and it is believed his father is Yambilu-Jordan, which will make him full brother to the new cubs. I will go more into the character of this special leopard on the next Blog about him. For me, he is special being the first leopard I met in the Sabi sands and a very distinctive leopard at that!

 Both brothers are extremely good looking and here is how to recognise this particular stunning leopard:

His most distinctive feature are the markings at the corner of each eye forming a "Y" and heavy marks above each eye forming a "V"

A lot of people including Beryl have also noticed a symmetrical line of spots running down his back, something I haven't noticed in other leopards, but I think would be interesting to see if it also distinctive!

The pattern on his forehead forms a deep "U" shape from his ears and meets in between the eyes.

The banding under his throat is a shallow "W"  I have also noticed on his right side a clear "C" mark, which you can see clearly here in the picture to the right!

He is such a fantastic leopard to watch in more ways than one and I hope we continue to see him for many more sightings! Thanks again for all the great pictures of Mixo that were sent in and I will be using more of them in future Blogs! 

Written by Tara

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