A video taken a while ago of a male leopard called Tintaka. The word “Tintaka” means snare in Shangaan, the local language. If you look carefully at the video you will notice that his head looks weird with the neck narrow and tight just underneath the jaw. A huge leopard like this should have a dewlap hanging under the jaw creating the illusion of an even thicker neck emphasizing his size. None of this is visible. We suspect that he must have been caught in a wire snare when he was younger and that he managed to free himself, but that the noose part of the wire are still around his neck. He seemed to be doing ok with no visible signs of suffering and the general consensus have been to leave him alone and not to try and remove the snare as that in itself can be life threatening due to stress and a lot of other complications that could arise from the anesthetics. The chances were also good that the necessary treatment could not have been done in the wild and that he would have to be relocated to another location and been put through a rehabilitation phase.

Tintaka suddenly disappeared about 6 months ago. I am quite sure that he is not alive anymore, but do not know anything more about the circumstances related to his death, if that. A sad ending to a huge leopard that only came into our concession area as an adult and whose stay was far too brief.

I miss him.