Mission: Tracking a Leopard with a Problem
Date: 28 January and 27 Febuary 2008
Requesting organisation: Cape Leopard Trust
Location: Cedarberg Mountains, Western Cape
Pilot: Johan Ferreira

Between January and March The Bateleurs have flown two monitoring missions for the Cape Leopard Trust.  Quinton Martins sent a short report to say that he and pilot Johan Ferreira had flown to track the movement of collared leopard in the Cedarberg mountains of the Western Cape, at the end of January, and again at the end of February 2008.

In particular they were trying to locate leopard F6 with whom there appeared to be a problem.  Quinton wrote:

“The signal is coming from the same place all the time – we are searching the area on foot now that we have identified a 300m x 100m area where either she or the collar have been for some time. We had a great flight, as per usual – really stunning. I will let you know as soon as we have information on the whereabouts of F6.”

Since then we have received the above photograph of a beautiful male leopard rescued from a gin-trap in the Hantam Mountains of the Northern Cape.  Having been located, darted and “stretchered” off the mountain, the 49 kg leopard was examined by veterinary surgeon, Dr Andre van der Merwe, who declared that he was absolutely fine.  Luckily the gin-trap used was small and had done no damage to the leopard other than some local swelling to his left front paw, where the trap had taken hold.  The animal was measured, tissue samples were taken and he was re-released later the same day.  Rescuers included Jaco van Deventer of Cape Nature, on the left in the photo, and Quinton Martins, on the right, who had worked with a team of CLT staff and workers on the farm where this dramatic rescue took place.