Where Leopards Roam – Avis SA feature

Published: 14 February 2020

The leopard is not the easiest of animal species to study. They are the most elusive of the big cats and generally prefer not to be seen. This is especially true in the Cape mountains – here, leopards are dubbed ‘ghost cats’ because they are so rarely spotted. Sightings by people are few and far between and usually only last a few seconds. Therefore, doing research on these elusive beasts requires a few key ingredients, one of which is a reliable, rugged off-road vehicle to get researchers into the mountainous terrain where leopards roam.

To this end, Avis South Africa has been proudly supporting the Cape Leopard Trust Boland Project with the sponsorship of a 4x4 Toyota Hilux since September 2011. These amazing vehicles have been integral to the Boland team’s fieldwork efforts – from running an intensive large-scale camera trap survey, tracking collared leopards, servicing long-term monitoring CLT camera traps, visiting private landowners to assist with their own field camera placement, taking donors and supporters out into the field, and more recently visiting properties to scout for and remove illegal wire snares (read more about this initiative here: https://capeleopard.org.za/research/current/boland/news/story/protecting-wildlife-from-snares-in-the-boland).

As the Cape Leopard Trust celebrated its 15th birthday in 2019, we reflect on the valuable long-standing partnerships and collaborations that have made our work possible over the years, enabling the CLT to be in the positive position it is in today. For the Boland team, we truly appreciate the partnership with Avis South Africa. Together we have the power to make a difference and to help save a spot for leopards in our future.