A male Leopard's prerogative to just say no.

He is a large, relaxed, in the prime of his life unblemished, magnificent male leopard, born on one of the southern properties in the Sabi Sands give or take 20 kilometers away from Djuma.

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He seems to have managed to acquire his own estate on Djuma's south eastern traversing area and has managed to do this without getting himself bashed up. Who knows maybe he just got lucky, his predecessor, known as Mr. Newington, has presumably moved on and is looking down from leopard heaven. Bless his heart.
But this new boy called Mvula or rain, in Shangaan, don't ask me why, besides being an incredibly impressive cat, he worries me with the fact that yesterday afternoon was the second occasion that I have observed him with an overtly rampant, incredibly sultry, gorgeous, writhing, leopardess, literally begging for a bit of pleasurable, evolutionary advancement of their specie. Which I am horrified, as member of the male gender tribe, to say, he flatly refused to give her any sort of attention - amazing, concerning - but intriguing none the less.
The same thing happened almost a year ago with a different female. A persistent little lady in the exact same situation as the one he was with yesterday afternoon.
He did, or should I rather say, didn't do or show any sort of interest in this gorgeous creature begging to spend the next five to seven days with him, except of course annoyance: not at her being in his presence, space and at times in his face, but at her amorous advances. The poor girl was boiling over with rampant hormones with a very disinterested partner. She followed and harassed him over three or four different properties for about the same number of days, without once even getting a look in.

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He repeats the same behavior late afternoon, beautiful light with a female we have watched grow up, an only child. Known as Nkanyi, meaning Marula, a specie of tree she is often found in, hence her name.

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We got to the sighting to have the male walk up and lie on top of a mound which we had parked next to.

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Shortly to be followed a little way behind, by Nkanyi - a stunning little cat. However, she chose to disappear out of view, from our side of the mound. I mentioned to my guest that there was a possibility of them mating but wouldnít hold my breath, as their body language was telling me different.
We settled down to enjoy the visual feast of this magnificent animal in our presence, when I became startled by a low growl getting louder, which confused me for a second, duly explained by the reappearance of the female, over the top of the mound, seductively sliding her body along the head and neck of the male, finishing off the invitation with a gentle knock on the cheek with her hips.

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No response from the male at all, as she reverses her body and once again glides along him like liquid mercury and is stone walled once again, except with an irritated hiss from him. After a third attempt she gives up and lies a short distance from us at the base of the mound, with a look of bewilderment on her face.

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Clearly she is in the mood for love and after a short period of self preparation and grooming, she once again glides up the mound, this time met with a full display of his impressive fangs, accompanied by more hissing and nasty stares.

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Getting desperate she intensified her efforts, ignoring his ever growing protests and lying down in front of him, shuffles right up to him, so close her tail curled up against his chin.

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At that point I had to tell Johnny the guide from bush lodge to keep calm as he was prepared to go and mate with her, just to put her out her misery.
We left after a fascinating period of advances and rebuffs, pondering the depths of the male leopardís sexual minds. As this guy just didnít cut it. Funny thing about these males from the south!
Later that night at camp, shortly before dinner, Johnny bumped into the male in one of the staffís gardens. He was luckily seen off with some fang baring and a short, but intentional hiss.
Disturbingly they had no idea where the female was lurking, surely somewhere nearby in the blackness. If there hadnít been a light in the garden, it probably would have cured Johnnyís constipation for life.
We found the female the next morning, I was glad to see she had the sense to dump him and was back to hunting, moving slowly back to the outskirts of her motherís territory and hopefully the land of better and more willing males.

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