PLETTENBERG BAY NEWS – A Leopard was caught on camera on Cairnbrogie Farm, Plettenberg Bay, in the early hours of Tuesday morning, May 7.
According to Andrew Hill, owner of Cairnbrogie Dairy, one of their Hefer cattle went missing on Sunday night, May 5, which alerted them to the possible presence of a predator.
The carcass of the cow was discovered on Monday, May 6 in an area known as Voigt-se-Bos, a coastal forest that has recently been incorporated into the Robberg Coastal Corridor.
Hill contacted CapeNature and cameras were installed to establish what type of predator was operating in the area. The Landmark Foundation, an organisation researching the forest leopards in the area, also installed cameras. “We are trying to identify individuals and find out how many there are in the area,” said Bruce Missing, field researcher for the Landmark Foundation (www.landmarkfoundation.org.za).
At 01:11 on Tuesday morning, the female leopard returned, presumably to the carcass that had been left undisturbed. One of the cameras was triggered and her image captured. Being camera-shy, she quickly ran away and had not yet returned at the time of going to press.
According to Hill, there was an unsuccessful attempt to capture her in order to collar her on Tuesday night, May 7. He explained that the reason for collaring her would be to enable them to trace her movements in an effort to mitigate the impact on surrounding farmers. “We would not want to end up in a situation with people calling for her to be shot,” he said.
Hill said, “Cairnbrogie is a predator-friendly farm. We would prefer to manage our livestock and maintain the biodiversity.”