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Leopard

Julia taught in Namibia in 2010. Since she had seen many of the sights and animals there, we found ourselves visiting Tanzania in the summer. Lisa spent time in a Children’s Village as the nurse. It was quite an experience for them. They had to put up with some privation. Meanwhile I joined them as a tourist and enjoyed regular meals and hot water. Many animals are easy to find and observe. Elephants, giraffe and wildebeest are pretty easy to see. Not that one would be to jaded about seeing any of them. But, the big cats are hard to see. And a leopard is rare indeed. We were very fortunate and didn’t know it. The guide who collected us in the morning laid out a spread of tea and cookies. Then, we were off meandering on the Serengeti. Here the vehicles could drive off road. We came up on another Land Cruiser with a single occupant peering intently past the bushes in a crevice beneath some large rocks. There was a leopard, named Chewy, eating a freshly killed wildebeest. By the next morning the carcass was stripped clean. And yes the guide knew this leopard’s habits well enough to be on a first name basis. Wow, we were lucky to see Chewy. And, yes, the guide told us, but I have forgotten, how distinguish a leopard from a cheetah. It’s about size, build, eyes, and coloring.

 

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