5 days ago
goodemackenzie and I set up several camera traps in my backyard last week, and here is our short compilation of nocturnal footage here at Mpala. On Monday at 2:15am we were visited by this gorgeous leopard, triggering the camera just seven meters from the porch. Leopards are very elusive to humans on foot, and will actively slip out of view before they can be detected. I've clocked in countless hours of searching for animals at night over the last several months, but I've never been lucky enough to encounter a leopard (or even hyena). So far I've had a wonderful time seeing genets, white-tailed mongoose and their shrieks, porcupines, owls, and other nocturnal residents, and only once I heard a deep growl in the thick bushes near me. In the footage you can also see the leopard scent marking by clawing at the ground with its hind legs. Leopards leave scents in a variety of ways, including rubbing the scent glands of the face on vegetation, urinating, or in this case marking with their interdigital glands.
Music: Sarasate's Introduction and Tarantella performed by Andrei Korsakov
kenya mpala mpalayoushot africa africanwildlife cameratrap nocturnal leopard cat pantherapardus panthera spottedhyena hyena waterbuck bushbuck dikdik mongoose mammalogy wildlife wildlifephotography evolution research science ecology naturalhistory