Meet Sandile, the pioneer leopardess on Shamwari Game Reserve.

Sandile arrived at Shamwari Game Reserve as a six month old youngster in 2003. Her mother was shot in the Southern Kruger National Park region for frequenting the rest camps. Only after she was shot was it established that she had two cubs, a female and a male.

These cubs were sent to a renowned rehabilitation centre run by Karen Trendler until they could figure out what to do with them. They spent three months at the rehabilitation centre while permits and permissions were granted for the pair to be translocated to the Eastern Cape. The male went to a photographic reserve near Shamwari and Sandile into our care. The two were split for genetic reasons.

On arrival at Shamwari Sandile was kept in a boma (a hectare enclose) to acclimatise and settle into her new environment. During this period there was no human contact except for when she was fed, which was done in a discreet manner. She was then released onto the reserve as a wild leopard to fend for herself at eight months of age.

Being the only introduced leopard on the reserve, her successful habituation was essential…

Watch her debut video below: