Gareth Poole | A Trusting Stare
The image shows the Teardrop female leopard frolicking on the forest floor. This particular leopard has always been my favourite leopard to look for on game drive, as she had an incredibly beautiful territory in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. During this sighting, she was relaxing on the forest floor, and because she rolled over, we could see that she was lactating. This of course made us extremely excited, as it was a sign that this leopard probably had a little cub in the area! Moments after I took this picture, and she gave me this piercing, trusting look, she got up and we of course followed her to see if she would perhaps lead us to the den site. We were lucky enough to be able to follow her to a little hidden spot on the island in the middle of the Sand River, where we discovered she had not just had one, but two little cubs! We were the first people that had the privilege of seeing them for the first time ever. The Teardrop female successfully raised both female cubs, who we named Xivinzi & Xivati. The cubs are now fully independent and raising cubs of their own, carrying on her legacy in the Sabi Sands as a third generation of the Teardrop female leopard. I will never forget this special moment that seemed to have taken place between us, where she had trusted me enough to show me her brand new cubs.
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