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Video Interpretations

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Leopards - opportunistic predators

7 November 2013

www.leopard.tvThis long video was taken in the late afternoon in a leopard camp and shows a leopard that is standing next to the waterhole with the right front foot in the water before entering the waterhole to search for meat that is thrown into the waterholes from the overhead walkway. The leopard uses its front paws to feel under the water for the lumps of meat. It then looks up at the walkway in expectation of being fed in what clearly is learned behaviour. In this video feeding actually occurs and splashes are seen as pieces of meat are thrown into the water. The leopard reacts immediately by jumping into the water and then carrying the meat to next to the waterhole where it feeds on the meat in the grass. When another piece of meat is thrown into the water the leopard leaves the meat on which it is feeding to fetch the new piece. This process is repeated and some of the meat is cached in the grass for later use. This is typical of the opportunistic feeding pattern of a leopard. In the southern Kalahari it has also been observed that a leopard that is feeding on a carcass will react and try and kill other prey at any opportunity.

Video interpreted by Prof J du P Bothma.

 

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