MmaTsebe’s Story… Your legacy will live on.
The legendary leopardess named Mmatsebe (meaning marked ear), was the most well-known female leopard famously known for her numerous daylight hunting sessions, in the Moremi area. Here are a few of her stories:
Judith McKay –” I have now finished my painting of Mmatsebe a beautiful female leopard that we followed for more than hour in Khwai National Park, Botswana last October. We had followed her through the woodland and sat patiently while she walked purposefully past our vehicle, she was so close I could hardly breathe. She walked on and finally climbed a tree a few yards from where we sat in our vehicle. She moved this way and that changing position and gazing way off into the distance and then she turned and looked towards me, just before leaping down in an attempt to catch an Impala for her supper. This is the painting I have done from that special moment’”.
Wim van den Heever wrote:
As always, this unspoiled area has so much to see – beautiful birds, and wildlife to delight any nature photographer. Zebras roamed around; stately waterbuck gazed at us as our cameras were kept busy, busy, busy. Then we turned northwards – this turned out to be the best decision ever as we didn’t travel far before we stumbled across a female leopard. She is easily identifiable as she has a notch in her ear – giving her the name MmaTsebe. The ‘maa’ part of her name identifies her as a mother, and ‘tsebe’ points to her unique ear. She has a cub stashed away somewhere, but we didn’t get to see it. We remained with MmaTsebe for some time, actually for the remainder of our drive. After resting for a short while she started hunting. We followed at a discreet distance. She didn’t find anything close enough or unaware enough to stalk and gave up to lie down for a rest. After quite some time MmaTsebe, almost without warning, sprang up, and with one bound she was high up in a tree.
Many people have shared similar experiences such as the above of the legendary leopard “MmaTsebe”
MmaTsebe and her Cubs
During her lifetime, MmaTsebe had many litters and was always vigilant as she was a fierce provider and protector of her cubs. She was one of the best leopard mothers imaginable.
Photo Credit Beverley Joubert.