Leopard Cubs: Keisha at 19 Months
Shot at Mala Mala Game Reserve, South Africa in July 2011 with the Canon 1D Mark IV, 1Ds III, 500mm f/4 and 70-200 f/2.8 II with 1.4x TC III
This was Keisha at 19 months old and we were surprised that she was already independent from her mom. Cubs normally stay with their mom until around 2 years of age, so this was a very confident cookie. As you can see, Keisha was totally gorgeous and very photogenic. Keisha was beautiful and she knew it. Even at this young age, we watched her trying to flirt with males in hopes of mating, but the guys knew better.
Update: Keisha was officially named the Emsagweni female (after her Dad and her new territory in the NE corner of Mala Mala). She gave birth to twins in March 2016 but they didn't survive. In Nov. 2017, Keisha had another litter and currently 2 of the 3 cubs - both male which typically are more vulnerable than female - are grown and independent. So congrats! to Keisha. The boys are supposedly living somewhere just beyond Mom's territory either in one of the Sabi Sands camps to the North or Krueger National Park to the West.
There's so much wonderful wildlife at Mala Mala and I love that you can drive off road to watch animal behavior up close and personal; i.e., my first glimpse of the handsome Concrete male (currently named the West Street male) when he was new to camp, Kiki mating with the Emsagwen male (Keisha's dad), and the Tamboti female (Kiki's younger sister).
All images © Christina J. Prestegard 2004 - 2022. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.