KNYSNA NEWS - Jim Parkes, owner of the land on which three leopards were caught on camera, is surprised by how the footage has taken social media by storm, describing the incident as nothing short of normal for them.
In case you missed it, a leopard and her two cubs were spotted on a camera trap on property owned by Geo Parkes & Sons Timber Merchants last week, Thursday 16 April.
As they usually do with such footage, Parkes would go on to post the footage on the company's Facebook page, and was surprised by the reaction it got. "We post stuff like this on Facebook all the time, and it never gets this kind of attention," Parkes said of the video which has amassed nearly 40 000 views since it was posted yesterday.
Parkes, along with Cape Leopard Trust researcher and media liaison Jeannie Hayward, feel that people are only really taking notice of this particular incident because they find themselves in lockdown; with nothing to turn their attention to.
For Hayward, this could lend itself to some retrospective thinking. "Leopards have always been here – they have been caught on camera multiple times before and these sightings do not necessarily have anything to do with the lockdown," Hayward said. "Much hype and sensation has been created around images that would during ‘normal times’ have gone unnoticed – and maybe that in itself is some food for thought."
The video was captured on a camera that Parkes had installed with the help of Sanparks Garden Route National Park scientist Lizette Moolman in the last two or three years.
"We see leopards and all sorts of wildlife in the forests on our property so much," Parkes said. He further added that on countless occasions people riding dirt bikes ('scramblers') have trespassed on their property, disturbing the peace. "These guys ride around and interrupt the peace of nature around us, and it can easily scare away the wildlife."
You can watch the video here:
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