The Cape Leopard Trust have shared an image of larger than usual leopard family. A female with three young cubs was spotted by a camera trap set at an undisclosed location.

Jeannie Hayward of Cape Leopard Trust shared the image on Facebook and wrote:

‘Usually there is only one cub, occasionally two. So to find three cubs on one photo is truly a rare occurrence – that is why we are bursting with excitement about this image!’

A leopard’s gestation period is generally around 100 days and the average time between litters is usually two years, according to CLT.

The post continued:

‘Little is known about reproductive success of leopards in the Cape mountains, but it is a very tough environment and cub mortality seems to be high, especially in their first few months,’

Baboons and black eagles are two of a number of predators who could threaten the cubs’ survival.

Hayward added:

‘Leopards in the Cape mountains are notoriously elusive and shy of people, and the best way to study them is by using remote-sensing field cameras. It’s not unusual to get images of leopards from the mountain slopes above Boland and Overstrand towns like Paarl, Stellenbosch, Grabouw, Gordon’s Bay and Kleinmond, yet so many people are still surprised to find out that they are there,’

This sighting is a positive sign and a beacon of hope for the leopard population of South Africa‘s Cape region as the cubs appear to be in good condition. However they are still very young though and many dangerous months still lie ahead.