Friday, November 15, 2013

The Leopard’s Bum

In Africa, the big deal in wildlife is the Big Five:

  • Lion
  • Leopard
  • Rhino
  • Cape Buffalo
  • Elephant.

There’s also the little five:

  • Rhinoceros beetle
  • Buffalo Shrike
  • Elephant Shrew
  • Ant Lion
  • Leopard tortoise.

We have seen many, many elephant, Buffalo, and rhino.  Last May when Andrew and Kelly were with us, we saw 3 lionesses.   We had  been skunked only on the leopard, until… today.

On the Morning game drive at 0600, the first thing BIG we see in a lioness on the prowl.  It is only a glimpse as she snakes her way through the bush.  An hour or a little less later, she, or more likely another lioness, is asleep under a bush only 60-70 m from the dirt road.  We can’t see her well, but there is no doubt.

We are getting close to quitting time, and I am praying for the last chance at a leopard.  We round a corner and there it is… not a leopard, but a crowd of safari vehicles, which means something is showing itself.  We pull up, and there it is, in a tree some 150 m distant is a… leopard’s bum.  The long tail, and it is surprisingly long, wafts gently in the breeze.  Through the binoculars, or even through the camera zoom, it is clear that we are looking at the rear end of a grown leopard sleeping in the first big crotch of a tree. 

We watch for several minutes, but nothing happens.  The leopard is sleeping so comfortably that it scarcely moves.  But there it is.  Thanks be to G^d who Blesses us far beyond anything we could ask or think.  IT is hard to express how satisfying it is, the Big Five.

Thank you Lord.

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