The Cape Leopard Trust - Using research as a tool for conservation & finding solutions to human-wildlife conflict
Thursday, 21 February 2013 05:00

Meet Enzo, Sheeva and Nala!

Meet Enzo, Sheeva and Nala!

Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards recently announced the winner of their “Name the Leopard Campaign”, a competition launched to encourage the public to find names for the three Boland leopards adopted by Leopard’s Leap. Congratulations to Camilo Jacobus from KuilsRiver in Cape Town for his winning entry!

The first leopard is an adult male, called BM4 (Boland Male #4 - his research identity number). His colloquial name is now “Enzo”, and he has been photographed by a number of remote-sensing cameras (camera trap) located in and around the Klein Drakenstein and Wemmershoek mountains. One of these camera traps is situated on La Motte Wine Estate’s tourist hiking trail, a mere 200m from the vineyards! Two female leopards and their respective cubs have been recorded within Enzo’s territory. He has also recently been captured and fitted with a GPS tracking collar by the CLT Boland team. The resulting data will contribute towards a PhD study investigating the influence of habitat fragmentation and human disturbance on leopard movement and ecology in the Boland mountains. When captured, Enzo was in good condition weighing 29kg, average for an adult male Cape leopard in the Fynbos part of the Cape. Using tooth wear to estimate age, he was judged to be between seven and eight years old. The name Enzo means “home ruler” and in old Germanic has a meaning similar to giant. A very fitting name for a dominant male leopard!


A recent photo of Enzo shows him to be in very good condition

Their second adopted leopard is BF1 (Boland Female #1), the very first adult female leopard identified by the CLT Boland Project camera trap survey back in March 2010. BF1 has been named “Nala”. When first photographed, she had a litter of two young cubs which she successfully raised. She has since had another litter of two cubs who also seem to be doing great. BF1’s territory falls within the western portion of resident male Enzo’s range.


A photo of Nala (left) with her inquisitive cub getting a closer look at the camera

And last but not least is BM5, an adult male leopard who has been photographed at a number of camera traps spanning the StettynMountains, Stettynskloof and Kaaimansgat areas. BM5 has been named “Sheeva”, meaning “charming” in Persian – a very appropriate name for this charismatic cat. BM5 was also recently captured and fitted with a GPS tracking collar by the CLT Boland team. At his capture, BM5 was in excellent condition with a very full belly, and weighed 35kg. He was estimated to be between seven and nine years old. As with the others, his collar data will further our understanding of leopard habitat use and movement in a human-modified environment.


Measuring Sheeva’s canines at his capture

Thank you to Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards for the continued support of our work, and we hope to learn a lot more about Enzo, Nala and Sheeva in the future!

The CLT Boland team

About Adopting A Leopard

Leopard adoptions are offered to corporates and public willing to support the Cape Leopard Trust research and conservation programme. The adoption offers the opportunity to attend the capture of the adopted leopard, obtain updates on its movements and behaviour, as well as even having a chance to head into the field with researchers to track and possibly see the animal during the course of the research. The cost to adopt a leopard is set to cover essential costs in capture and further monitoring of this animal, including GPS collars, fuel for tracking, veterinarian fees and drugs for immobilization. This amounts to R50,000. Please feel free to contact us for more information on this exciting opportunity and remember that the CLT is a registered NPO with section 18A tax exemption benefits for donations.

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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