Fangtastic: Ingwe the leopard hunting well after root canal op

2010-12-21 00:00

SINCE his root canal operation to fix a broken fang in October, the leopard Ingwe has brought down at least four impala in the Mongena Game Lodge on the Dinokeng nature reserve near Hammans­kraal north of Pretoria.

Ingwe injured his right fang while trying to bite through the steel bars of a cage at the Pretoria Zoo after he was captured on a smallholding in Boschkop, on the eastern outskirts of Pretoria.

Hencke Marais of the Tshwane nature conservation specialist services division yesterday said Ingwe’s movements on the 18 500 ha reserve are monitored with a collar.

“He is happy. There are no signs of stress.” Ingwe, estimated to be three years old, is the only male in this area and does not cross the boundaries. Marais confirmed that several female leopards have also been spotted in the area.

Before his capture on October 14 Ingwe reportedly roamed the upmarket area east of Pretoria, where a small-holder spotted the 60 kg predator high up in a Eucalyptus tree.

Tshwane’s nature conservation officers captured him on the same day, dubbed him Ingwe and sent him for safe keeping to the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria.

When it was discovered that he had cracked a fang on a steel bar, Onderstepoort’s Dr Gerhard Steenkamp performed the root canal, shortened the fang and filled the tooth cavity with the normal white cement used on humans.

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