A few days ago, at 7 am, Borna was sighted by two well-known Iranian biologists, Ali Khani and Babak Mousavi, in Tandoureh National Park after he had successfully brought down a female ibex. Borna looked healthy, just like when he was first captured in September 2014 to be fitted with a satellite collar.
To our surprise, Borna was in the heart of another dominant male leopard’s territory; this leopard was Bardia, who was collared a few days after Borna in 2014. The two leopards showed a minimum overlap in their ranges during the year they were monitored, and this was the first time Borna had been seen in an area used for hunting by Bardia. The latter, who is thought to be around 8 to 10 years old now, was known to have occupied his territory since 2011, but more recently he hasn’t been seen for a while. The last time he was spotted was early this year, in January 2016, when the Future4Leopard’s Foundation crew were lucky to encounter him, seemingly after a fresh meal in Tandoureh.
Borna has been roaming marginal parts of Bardia’s range for the past two years, but it seems that now he has taken over Bardia’s territory. Camera traps will be deployed to find out if Bardia is still around.
Photos: Seyed Babak Mousavi