Name: Argyle Jnr Female (so called after the property on which she is regularly seen)
Born: Unknown – probably late 1990’s
Territory: Argyle Jnr is territorial over the northern area of the Timbavati, with the majority of her territory falling north of the Timbavati in Ingwelala. In the Timbavati, Argyle Jnr frequents the properties of Motswari, Argyle and the very northern section of Peru (on mostly on the eastern side of the Nhlaralumi). On Ingwelala, Argyle Jnr is the dominant female over their portion of Argyle, with her territory’s northern and western boundaries unlikely to extend too far past Argyle Rd in either direction. The eastern boundary of her territory would also be around Western Cutline, and her southern boundary would be around Sohebele Dam/Sohebele Plains in the east, and Peru Entrance Rd in the west. Argyle Jnr’s core territory seems to be similar to that of Argyle male, and centres on the wedge created by the Nhlaralumi and Sohebele Riverbeds.
(click on map for larger view)
Male: The dominant male in the area is Argyle male, but several young males are also found in the area. She normally mates with Argyle male.
Cubs: Argyle Jnr is the mother of:
2010 – Two cubs born in January 2010 (Yet to be named)
2008 – Shongile female, Vyeboom Dam male, Shongile’s brother (2:1 male), born in March 2008
2006 – Two cubs born late 2006; Ingwelala male and sibling (possibly Voel Dam female – no positive ID)
Neighbours: To the north, a female called the Sibon female is territorial, but doesn’t venture into the Timbavati. Argyle Jnr’s western and eastern neighbours are unknown too. In the south, Argyle Jnr share’s some overlap in territory with the smaller Mbali female.
Story: Argyle Jnr, identified by a prominent scar on her back, on the right side of her body, is an amazing mother and I don’t think it has to do with luck either! She has raised seven out of her last seven cubs (including her two current ones) without losing one of them – that is no mean feat in the harshness of the African bush. The most amazing achievement was when she raised all three cubs of her 2008 litter to independence! Firstly having three cubs is not all that common, but to successfully raise a litter of that size is almost unheard of! It was quite a sight seeing her and the three cubs together, especially if they were lying in front of camp during Boma dinner! As a leopard, she is not the most relaxed individual, but is becoming increasingly more relaxed with the vehicles, and is very chilled at night. Her first two known cubs weren’t too relaxed either, but with her second litter, she started relaxing more, and as a result Shongile turned out to be the most relaxed of the youngsters, followed by Vyeboom Dam male. With her 2010 litter, she seems to be spending a bit more time in the Timbavati, and the increased frequency of sightings is allowing her and the two cubs to become more accustomed to the Land Rovers, and they are slowly providing better viewing.