The Cape Leopard Trust - Using research as a tool for conservation & finding solutions to human-wildlife conflict
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 04:11

Spot recaptured - the first female to be caught twice

It was the morning of the 13th July when we received a call from Hennie Spamer (Driehoek farm - Cederberg). A leopard had taken one of his kid goats, right from its pen in the farm yard. We went over to see if either of the collared leopards who range over Driehoek was near the farmhouses. We found that the female leopard, Spot (F10) was right there, only 250m away. 

 Spot recaptured - the first female to be caught twice

A cage-trap was set and baited.

For the past three months we've been trying to catch Spot in order to re-collar her, as the collar batteries only last about a year and she was caught on 18th June last year. Early the following morning, after a restless night's sleep, we received the call, "She's in the trap!"  

The vet from Ceres, Dr Marc Walton, was called out immediately. While waiting for him, Willem checked the other traps and Quinton got the necessary equipment ready, double checking that the new lightweight GPS collar was working correctly. By 11am, everyone was at Driehoek. 

Spot recaptured - the first female to be caught twice 

The darting and entire process went very smoothly. The brand new R40 000 "bling" collar was secured around Spot's neck. She was released a few hours later a couple of hundred meters from the farm house. We waited until she was properly awake before opening the holding cage doors, ensuring she would not be injured while moving "under the influence". We will now be able to follow her movements again for a whole year.

'Spot' is the leopard whose spots can be adopted through our Adopt-a-Spot campaign. Spot adopters are given quarterly updates on what Spot's been up to, but this was too exciting to keep till the next update, so they have been given an exclusive photo-essay on the Spot capture. You can Adopt a Spot for only R500/year.

The Cape Leopard Trust Trapping Techniques

icon no trapShort overview of three trapping methods considered by the Cape Leopard Trust as safe and humane: Cage traps, Foot loop traps or Foot snares, Soft-catch traps, References to relevant scientific literature.

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