A couple of months ago, a few hikers went out for a day of birding out in the mountains of Rooi Els. For those who don’t know, Rooi Els is on a tiny corner of the coastline strip between Cape Town and Hermanus, just before the town of Betty’s Bay. It is exceptionally beautiful, as it is right on a tip of the coast that rises into dry feinbos-filled mountains. The views at Rooi Els are stunning and the hiking is terrific, but usually, the only wildlife people expect to see are birds and the odd dassie running around (not including the whales and dolphins spotted out in the sea).
That’s why these pictures are so fascinating. A mountain leopard was seen – searching for food – in broad daylight! This magnificent creature will live a solitary life that is normally nocturnal, and normally unseen to the human eye. We’ve long known that leopards live in this region of the Cape, but it is extremely unusual to spot one during the day, and to capture it on camera is a rare feat indeed!
The Leopard Trust was sent these photos by the birdwatcher, Tertius A Gous, who took them. A photographer with a keen eye, Gous writes: “On Tuesday, (we came) eye to eye with a Cape Leopard at Rooi Els…he knew we were there…not something that happens every day; a leopard staring at you while on foot and no place to run or hide…adrenaline rush does not even come close!
Well done to Gous for spotting the spotted Cape leopard! We hope these beautiful leopards can continue to thrive and remain in these mountains for years to come