We had our sundowners overlooking the Luangwa river after a great start to our later afternoon game drive. We had already come across a leopard and the famous Hollywood pride. Just as I was packing away the drinks and snacks, a call came over the radio that Chipadzuwa (click here for more on this leopard) A young leopardess had just made a kill. This was very exciting news as this was, to our knowledge, her first kill.
It took us about twenty minutes to drive to the scene, and by the time we had arrived, things had taken a turn for the worse, from the leopards point of view.
When we arrived, the first thing we noticed was Chipadzuwa was up a tree with no carcass in sight. We quickly realised why. A male lion had come across her, shortly after making the kill and decided he would take the meal for himself. After chasing her away he grabbed the carcass and dragged it under a bush only a few meters away from the tree chipadzuwa was now stranded in.
After another few minutes, a hyena arrived on the scene and began to investigate. After quickly assessing the situation, he began to call for reinforcements and within minutes was joined by six members of his clan.
Galvanised by the arrival of clan, they made a number of attempts to intimidate the male lion into giving up his free meal. However, these attempted proved to be futile. The male lion was clearly not intimidated and had no intention of giving up his prize.
While this was going on chipadzuwa had made her way up to the higher branches of the tree. I noticed she was looking intently into the darkness behind my vehicle and i swung around to she was had caught her attention. Out of the shadows appeared another leopard and I quickly recognised her.
It was Malika, Chipadzuwa’s mother. She paused briefly and quickly moved off.
By this stage, the hyenas had given up on trying to chase the lion away and were now waiting for him to finish and move off so they could feed on whatever was left. As we sat watching the lion feeding. Chipadzuwa again started to stare into the shadows and no sooner had I looked in the same direction, another leopard emerged.
This time a young male who we would see on regular occasions, in the same area. He too, did not stay long and passed the scene without being noticed by the lion and hyena.
After around half an hour from arriving on the scene, the lion decided he had picked off all he could from the young puku carcass and left the bones for the waiting hyena.
Who moved in a squabbled over the scraps.
The young leopard had now settled down in the upper branches and it looked like that is where she intended on spending the night.
With the lion and hyena gone, we decided to head back to camp for some dinner of our own.
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