Staff members and guests staying at Berg en Dal Rest Camp in the Kruger National Park (KNP) have experienced close contact with leopards for the past few days; there have also been random sightings of the predators close to other camps in the southern part of the park.
Park management said in a statement it would like to advise guests to be cautious while walking around the camps in the park to limit the risk of a possible confrontation with the animals or injury.
“A young leopard at Berg en Dal is alleged to have killed a bushbuck on Wednesday night near the Camping site; rangers were out at the first light yesterday to flush it out but found no trace of the cat. A male adult leopard was seen outside the fence and circling the same camp as if stalking something on Thursday and Friday morning.
“We also received a report from a tourist via social media that a frantic looking female leopard was seen up a tree on S110 gravel road; he later saw a young leopard running towards Berg en Dal as if being chased away,” said general manager of communications and marketing, Isaac Phaahla.
We have just had confirmation from our Section Ranger that a young leopard was spotted in the camping side of Berg en Dal Rest Camp. A word of caution has been sent out /… @SANParks
— Kruger National Park (@SANParksKNP) December 18, 2019
Phaahla further explained that there was a possibility the leopard sightings were linked because all leopards are highly territorial, and these animals could be fighting for territory.
Rangers are on alert for any sightings close to the camp and weighing options because any wild animal which roams around in human habitats with people milling around is bound to be dangerous.
“We would like to warn those who habituate the animals such as baboons by feeding them to refrain from such as the animals start staying in the camps hoping for food; thereby attracting predators which places humans under threat and might lead to the destruction of the animals.
“It is an offence to feed wild animals therefore people must familiarise themselves with the general rules of the park which are found on the permits they receive at the gates,” said Phaahla.
A male adult leopard was seen outside the fence and circling the Berg en Dal camp as if stalking something on Thursday and Friday morning.