09 632 1138 info@iwh.co.nz
Planning your OE?  Welcome to International Working Holidays
 
 
 

Proving this leopard does not kill livestock - Wildlife Sanctuary

Proving this leopard does not kill livestock - Wildlife Sanctuary

Author -  Vicki Kenny

The story of Lightning the Leopard in Namibia

Re-fitted with a GPS collar on 12 October, Lightning has not only become the most successful The Wildlife Sanctuary's release study, but she also holds the record for being the world’s longest monitored free roaming leopard - seven magnificent years!

But how did it all begin? 

Read on as we recount Lightning’s incredible journey… a journey steeped in conservation glory.

LightningDarted.jpg

Some eight years ago in 2008, a farmer caught a young female leopard, her plight thankfully coming to the attention of the The Wildlife Sanctuary. Two of Namibia’s most well-known conservationists and the founders of the Wildlife Sanctuary, rose to the challenge of rehabilitating this young cat and gifting her with a future… a future of ultimate freedom. After all, the motto of the Sanctuary is to “return the wild to the wild”, a mantra forming the backbone of the project's intensive conservation projects.

It took almost a year of medical care, experienced rehabilitation techniques and committed devotion for the young leopard, named Lightning, to regain the peak physical condition required for the safest possible release – a release ultimately pitting her survival chances against wild odds.

In 2009 this magnificent big cat was fitted with a GPS collar and released on the Kulala Wilderness Reserve, her exotic form disappearing into the wilds of Namibia, as the Sanctuary relinquished it's protective hold on a cat who had now fully embraced her freedom.

But the vital data transmitted by her GPS collar ensured that contact with this extraordinary animal was not completely severed, the Sanctuary was tracking and monitoring her movements, being privy to her every step and following her journey onto the Neuras Wine and Wildlife Estate, a 14 500 hectare reserve and prime carnivore research site – the place that Lightning ultimately decided to call home.

dataentry.jpg

 

-Volunteer-Wildlife-Sanctuary-IWH-.30.48 PM.png

Approximately every two years the batteries of a GPS collar run dry, requiring collared cats to be cage trapped and re-collared in a bid to continue tracking their movements – movements which add to the scope of The Wildlife Sanctuary's intensive research findings. 

-Volunteer-Wildlife-Sanctuary-IWH-.31.07 PM.png

Leopards are notoriously tricky to re-collar, their natural intelligence often preventing them from re-entering the confines of a capture cage. However, Lightning has seemingly realised that capture cages bring no harm, confidently entering them when her re-collarings beckon, and thus having allowed the Sanctuary team to continue monitoring her movements for seven years – a recognised world record in the annals of big cat research.

-Volunteer-Wildlife-Sanctuary-IWH-.31.00 PM.png

Even better - a happy ending to this story...

Data records show that Lightning has never targeted livestock, thus elevating her to the status of true non-conflict cat – a status that a remarkably high number of free roaming big cats hold, big cats who in the past would have faced tragically unnecessary persecution.

Camera trap images have also revealed Lightning with cubs, further emphasising the successful niche that this incredible leopard fills in the wilds of Namibia.

-Volunteer-Wildlife-Sanctuary-IWH-.31.16 PM.png

To find out more about volunteering at the Wildlife Sanctuary and the other related Namibia projects take a look at our Namibia pages

Proving this leopard does not kill livestock - Wildlife Sanctuary

Re-fitted with a GPS collar on 12 October, Lightning has not only become the most successful Wildlife Sanctuary release study, but she also holds the record for being the world’s longest monitored free roaming leopard - seven magnificent years!

The story of Lightning the Leopard in Namibia

Re-fitted with a GPS collar on 12 October, Lightning has not only become the most successful The Wildlife Sanctuary's release study, but she also holds the record for being the world’s longest monitored free roaming leopard - seven magnificent years!

But how did it all begin? 

Read on as we recount Lightning’s incredible journey… a journey steeped in conservation glory.

LightningDarted.jpg

Some eight years ago in 2008, a farmer caught a young female leopard, her plight thankfully coming to the attention of the The Wildlife Sanctuary. Two of Namibia’s most well-known conservationists and the founders of the Wildlife Sanctuary, rose to the challenge of rehabilitating this young cat and gifting her with a future… a future of ultimate freedom. After all, the motto of the Sanctuary is to “return the wild to the wild”, a mantra forming the backbone of the project's intensive conservation projects.

It took almost a year of medical care, experienced rehabilitation techniques and committed devotion for the young leopard, named Lightning, to regain the peak physical condition required for the safest possible release – a release ultimately pitting her survival chances against wild odds.

In 2009 this magnificent big cat was fitted with a GPS collar and released on the Kulala Wilderness Reserve, her exotic form disappearing into the wilds of Namibia, as the Sanctuary relinquished it's protective hold on a cat who had now fully embraced her freedom.

But the vital data transmitted by her GPS collar ensured that contact with this extraordinary animal was not completely severed, the Sanctuary was tracking and monitoring her movements, being privy to her every step and following her journey onto the Neuras Wine and Wildlife Estate, a 14 500 hectare reserve and prime carnivore research site – the place that Lightning ultimately decided to call home.

dataentry.jpg

 

-Volunteer-Wildlife-Sanctuary-IWH-.30.48 PM.png

Approximately every two years the batteries of a GPS collar run dry, requiring collared cats to be cage trapped and re-collared in a bid to continue tracking their movements – movements which add to the scope of The Wildlife Sanctuary's intensive research findings. 

-Volunteer-Wildlife-Sanctuary-IWH-.31.07 PM.png

Leopards are notoriously tricky to re-collar, their natural intelligence often preventing them from re-entering the confines of a capture cage. However, Lightning has seemingly realised that capture cages bring no harm, confidently entering them when her re-collarings beckon, and thus having allowed the Sanctuary team to continue monitoring her movements for seven years – a recognised world record in the annals of big cat research.

-Volunteer-Wildlife-Sanctuary-IWH-.31.00 PM.png

Even better - a happy ending to this story...

Data records show that Lightning has never targeted livestock, thus elevating her to the status of true non-conflict cat – a status that a remarkably high number of free roaming big cats hold, big cats who in the past would have faced tragically unnecessary persecution.

Camera trap images have also revealed Lightning with cubs, further emphasising the successful niche that this incredible leopard fills in the wilds of Namibia.

-Volunteer-Wildlife-Sanctuary-IWH-.31.16 PM.png

To find out more about volunteering at the Wildlife Sanctuary and the other related Namibia projects take a look at our Namibia pages

Proving this leopard does not kill livestock - Wildlife Sanctuary

What do you think? Love to hear your comments!

Name *
Subscribe
Comment *

Related Articles

Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary give new Cheetah cub a Maori name

Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary give new Cheetah cub a Maori name

Date:Friday, 4 August 2017

Our wildlife sanctuary in Namibia have welcomed a baby Cheetah - and given it a Kiwi name! ...

5 Things to Pack for Africa

5 Things to Pack for Africa

Date:Monday, 26 June 2017

We'll help you out with what to pack for your trip to Africa.

Here's the 5 most important things to take. ...

Courts and Kate take on South Africa

Courts and Kate take on South Africa

Date:Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Let's set the scene...

Its around June 2014 and I received a call from one of my closest friends Courtney.
Now Courts and I have been friends since High school.

We have been there for each other ...

Blog Tags

 
 
 
We'll find you the perfect job overseas.
 
Copyright © 2001 - Nannies Abroad Limited trading as International Working Holidays. All rights reserved  |  Website Design by Labyrinth Solutions  |  Content Management by Contegro
International Working Holidays™, International Working Holidays Logo, Nannies Abroad™ and Nannies Abroad Logo are trade marks of Nannies Abroad Limited trading as International Working Holidays.