Collaring the khal

Two nights ago Camilla and I were on leopard trapping duty. It was 2:45 am when my alarm went off. We dragged ourselves up the 47 steps at Waterfall Lodge and got into the car. We were just trying to keep warm. It’s the middle of winter now and it is freezing especially at 3 am.

We checked three traps, nothing there. Then we slowed down for the fourth one. I turned off the car lights and Camilla spotlighted. As soon as the spotlight came on, there was Drogo sitting calmly, proudly and massively in the middle of the trap site.

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The team came in to dart him. Once he was down we added a collar to Drogo. We took blood and hair samples and a number of measurements. He weighed a whopping 68 kgs.

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The next morning he was released and we watched him come out of the recovery crate. He took a moment to stare directly at Camilla and I before running off into the bush.

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