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Leopard - MJ



MJ and cub.




mjMJ and cub.




MJ and cub


NAME: MJ (aka: Maha Junior)

GENDER: Female

AGE: (2017) 17 years

WEIGHT: (2013) 32Kg (2014) 32.2Kg (2015) 37.2 Kg




BORN: 2000 in the Okonjima Nature Reserve.


MJ is one of our leopards in the Okonjima Nature Reserve.

MJ was born and grew up in the first, Nature Reserve Okonjima created that was only 4500ha large. The park was co-sponsored by TUSK for the rehabilitation of captive cheetahs and because of its size and the amount of cheetahs and leopards in an 'island-bound' wilderness area, a decision was made to contracept MJ in 2002.

Read more: about contraception in wildlife.


Her first litter, born to a wild male were spotted in November 2004 and we named them OPRAH & WINFREY because of the 'O' and 'W' spot-pattern on their foreheads. Sadly both were killed by another territorial female leopard after MJ weaned them. They were only 2 years old.

MJ’s next contraceptive implant was given to her on the 15/11/2006, for we felt that the leopard density within the 4500ha park was too high. Contraception in carnivores is safe, also in pregnant females, has minimal effects on behaviour, and does not pass through the food chain. This reversible method is preferable so that animals can breed again at a later stage. She was finally spotted in May 2009 with another cub called, OSHIWA (born end March/April 2009). MJ usually never shows her cubs in the first month, so it’s always a guessing game when she disappears off the radar for weeks. Sadly Oshiwa was killed by a leopard unknown to us, at the age of 3.

2 more cubs called, ISHARA & BWANA were born in 2010 – Both are still alive and turned 3 yrs old in 2013. MJ’s next cub – her 6th, was born in March 2013 – The cub is not weaned yet and we are not sure if its a male or female. That gives her a total of 4 litters and 6 cubs? A real star!


UPDATE 2013: On the evening of October 1st, MJ was sighted by one of our guides with heavy head wounds, indicating a leopard attack. The AfriCat team was called in to dart her with an anesthetic and bring her into the clinic for a check up. The wounds were cleaned, blood samples taken, teeth and claws inspected and antibiotics given to prevent infection. After two hours of sedation, a deep growl indicated her waking up, and she was quickly put back in a crate. She was released at dawn in the same area she was attacked. This is the first time MJ has been severely attacked and from the size of the teeth punctures in her head, we assume it was by a female leopard. MJ is currently in a prime territory with plenty of water, prey and good hunting grounds and is therefore bound to be challenged by other females wanting her territory.


MJ, short for Maha Junior, was born in Okonjima in November 2000. Her father, Tyson, and mother Maha, were the first leopards to be collared in the reserve, but they stayed wild, illusive cats, and seldom sighted. MJ and her sibling TJ (Tyson Junior) were used to seeing cars from a very small age and were the first leopards in the 200km² Okonjima Nature Reserve to tolerate human presence and game drive vehicles - completely stress-free and completely accepting of our presence. After four litters, MJ is known to be the perfect mother, always keeping her cubs in excellent condition. The female leopard may spend nearly half of its life caring for young cubs, with birthing intervals between 15 months to 2 years.

We know that when she disappears into the mountains it is to give birth, and find a suitable den where she and her cubs will not be disturbed. Her latest cub was born at the end of March 2013, the same week her brother TJ died from a leopard attack.

MJ showed the cub to us for the first time in May. We believe that Mafana, one of our biggest male leopards, is the father. The two have been mating on several occasions and Mafana has been seen with MJ and her cub. He is most likely also the father of her previous litter, a male and a female, called Bwana and Ishara. The siblings, now turning 3 years, are collared and thriving in the reserve.

MJ’s first litter in 2005, the females Oprah and Winfrey, only lived to be 2 years old, sadly killed by a territorial female leopard called Monica Lewinsky. Four years later, she had another female cub Oshiwa, killed by a leopard unknown to us, at the age of 3. MJ has lost three cubs out of six, but never on her 'watch', which statistics show is normal among leopards, but many lose them before they are weaned.

MJ is an awesome cat. Very relaxed, yet always on the look-out for danger. Despite being a small (only 32 kg), 13-year old female, she is a fierce hunter and will go from resting to making a warthog kill in a split second. Always calm around vehicles, and showing her cubs that there is nothing to fear. It is a unique experience to have been able to follow in MJ’s footsteps for 13 years and very rare for a collared leopard to be so comfortable around humans. She is by far the most sighted female leopard in the reserve, with an average of 40 percent of all leopard sightings. What a treat for everyone visiting Okonjima Nature Reserve to see this amazing cat.
Read more: MJ - legendary cat in the Okonjima Nature Reserve.


Adoption Fee

Adopt MJ for 1 year: N$ 3,500 / U$ 440 / £ 290 / € 350

Be a sole supporter (adopter) of MJ for one year: N$ 12,000 /
U$ 1,500 / £ 900 / € 1,200

The adoption fee covers the cost of medical bills, fuel and car maintenance for regular monitoring, meat for those that are struggling in the beginning of the rehabilitation stage, maintaining the roads, bush-clearing and general maintenance of the Park which is partly sponsored by AfriCat.


Ways you can adopt MJ:


1. Adopt MJ through our online Shop, pay via credit card or paypal.

(available soon)


2. Contact AfriCat via email and state you would like to adopt MJ and make your donation via PayPal to



3. UK taxpayers can donate via Tusk Trust. tusk trust Download a Tusk donation / adoption form:



Tusk UK
Tusk Trust,
4 Cheapside House, High Street,
Gillingham, Dorset SP8 4AA

Tel: +44 (0)1747 831 005


4. Contact AfriCat via email and state you would like to adopt MJ and make your donation via Virgin Money Giving, donations will be routed to AfriCat through TUSK Trust.



5. Contact AfriCat via email and state you would like to adopt MJ and make your donation through AfriCat's United Kingdom Bank.

Details for all national and international swift transactions:
Account name: AfriCat UK
Account number: 00767476
Bank: Barclays Bank PLC,
Address: 27 Soho Square, London W1D 3QR, UK.
Sort code: 20-52-69




africat namibia 6. Contact AfriCat via email and state you would like to adopt MJ and make your donation through AfriCat's Namibian Bank.

Details for all national and international swift transactions:
AfriCat Foundation
Account number: 62245889186
Branch code:
First National Bank Namibia Ltd. Otjiwarongo Branch, Namibia
Postal Address:
P.O. Box 64, Otjiwarongo, Namibia
Physical Address:
7 St Georges Street, Otjiwarongo, Namibia




ubuntu namibia

7. Contact AfriCat via email and state you would like to adopt MJ and make your donation through UBUNTU - Namibia e.V.


UBUNTU – Namibia e.V.
Susanne und Roland Schäfer

Bergstraße 67
76646 Bruchsal / Germany

Ihre Unterstützung unserer Projekte in Namibia freut uns sehr.
Bitte geben sie im Verwendungszweck Projekt AfriCat oder Projekt UBUNTU an.
Unser Spendenkonto in Deutschland:
UBUNTU-Namibia e.V.

Volksbank Bruchsal-Bretten eG
Konto Nr.: 64750
Bankleitzahl: 663 912 00
IBAN: DE78 6639 1200 0000 0647 50
Um Ihnen eine Spendenbescheinigung zukommen lassen zu können, teilen Sie uns bitte
Ihre Anschrift mit:
Name, Vorname

Mobil: 0049 173 3026774




africat america 8.  Contact AfriCat America by email and state you would like to adopt MJ.

AfriCat America Inc.
Public Charity EIN 35-2541789

Peter & Wanda Hanssen, 7601 W. Southport Road,
Peoria, Illinois 61615, USA.
Cell: +1 309 453 5556




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