I spent a couple of weeks along the Mara, by the ”black rocks”, downstream from paradise crossing point. This is an area popularly known as the pump house. In the area, is Siri the leopard with her 7-8 month old male cub. Siri and her older son Shujaa lived in the same area until recently when the young cub came along. Shujaa seems to have moved further from here to give way to an older male we call acacia male who now frequents here and we believe is the father of the young cub. Shujaa, which is Swahili for a brave one could not have been a better name for him. He had grown to be such a calm leopard lately giving us great poses. but as it is with most males, this changes as they grow older.
I have known Siri since 2006 when she was born around the same area. Her mother was just known to a few guides as Chemorta female and later pump house female. Siri assumed the same name later when her mother is believed to have died, as she was quite old. Her mother was very she of vehicles and not many guides even had a good chance to identify her. Siri was born with a male sibling, who later upon independence of her mother, went upstream to settle near the cul de sac area.
Her current small cub is such a charm. He has grown so used to vehicle. I spend sometimes last week, ‘stuck’ when he went under my vehicle and stayed there. Although it was such a great experience spending time with him and his mother, we lost another great sighting of big fights between lions and between lions and Hyaenas when they some lions killed a buffalo near. But we could not move since the leopard cubs was under the vehicle. Anyway we had such a great experience with him and the mum all on our own!. While watching them last week, i noted that they are slowly taking over leopard sightings from Olives daughters who are somehow becoming less frequently seen. Otherwise i hope this will also help to spread the vehicles to avoid crowding in one place when looking for leopard.
While thinking of a name for this young male, i could not think of a any better than Kijana, which is Swahili for a young lad. I suggested this to other guides and were all in agreement. Now that you can identify him form the spots on the face, it is good to have him named so that we can follow him as he grows.
Kijana Looking out of the bushes
Siri look out at prey