Our second day of safari began as usual with an anticipation of discovery………..

We had had great views of rhino’s through out the morning, heading off again after coffee on another cat finding mission, which was beginning to look remote due to no fresh leopard tracks being reported thus far in the drive.
I knew some of the guys had seen Nkaynini the previous evening, so decided to do the most logical thing and take a drive through that area on the chance of finding her tracks.
We instead hit the jackpot and couldn’t help but notice the white belly of an impala carcass, alongside a fallen red bush willow, smack in the middle of a fire break.
We drove slowly over to investigate and found a very unsettled little lady lying near her kill.
Her demeanor struck me immediately as strange; pointing out to my guests I have not seen her behaving this way and informing them of knowing her since she was couple of months old.
My mind instantly begins running through scenarios which could be the result of the behavior she was exhibiting. The presence of other predators was ruled out as there were no signs of any for a good five kilometer radius. We returned the next morning to find her again but she still she had that something missing in her eyes and her body was like reading a book, telling me huge amounts about her mood.
Not right
I kept reiterating to my guests how unlike her this is and then it hit me and had been staring me in the face the whole time and was irritated with myself for not working it out sooner. Her location with this kill was not more than one hundred meters from where I had last seen her. The day I think she lost her babe, it was only when I verbalized that fact to my guest that it all fell into place. This place threw raw emotions around in her head and the powerful emotional impact of that day was the most reasonable explanation for her whole sate of mind.
She had a fresh wound on her leg from that same day which may indicate she had made an attempt to save her babe, that being her only wound at least gave me surety she was at the get away when she the wound was inflicted.
That moment of understanding connected us for an instant but powerful moment, and it brought back memories of when I lost one of my cubs and the turmoil that created for me. Those thoughts made me wonder if the same light that was not on in her eyes had gone out in mine.