Salayexe – The Lonely One

by | Sep 10, 2017 | News

Salayexe, our resident female leopard, sadly passed away on the 18th of August

As most of you would know by now, Salayexe, our resident female leopard, sadly passed away on the 18th of August. Salayexe was the territorial female on Elephant Plains and I am sure that thousands of guests who visited the lodges in the northern sector of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve would remember her. 

Born in 2005, she was a mature twelve years of age.  She was still seen during the morning game drive (see videos below), with no noticeable signs of any illness or injuries.  Unfortunately, her body was discovered later that afternoon, where she lay peacefully, without any signs of predation or struggling.  The Sabi Sand conservation officer and state veterinarian was called out to collect her body.  A necropsy was done to determine the cause of death.  It was determined that she passed away due to chronic pneumonia and an inflamed liver. A few porcupine quills were also discovered underneath her skin. As sad as it is, it seems as if it was just her time to go.


We all have plenty of stories and memories of this beautiful lady.  From almost having Etienne and Marlet’s Jack Russel, Muis, for a meal, to raising cubs underneath our spa deck, to catching and hoisting an impala up into the tree in front of the aptly named “Leopard Luxury Suite” and many more.

When we broke the news on our Facebook page, guests from all over the world shared their shock and sympathy, as well as some wonderful photographs of sightings that they had of her while visiting EP. She was a great leopard to photograph and many of our guests have photographs of her in their homes and offices. Two of our regular return guests, Bror and Tuija West from Finland, recently sent through an e-mail, in which they told us that their new lunch restaurant was named Café Salayexe. They kept this as a surprise for us, as they are due to visit again in November, but when the news of Salayexe’s death reached them, they wanted to share this news with us now.

Tuiya West

Tuija West from Finland

Bror West

Bror West, Finland

I am sure that many of you have very fond memories and tales of spending time with this magnificent leopard. Her spirit now lives on in Tiyani, but she will forever be remembered in our hearts. Rest in peace, lonely one, you will be dearly missed… Have a look at the last video footage taken of Salayexe by Morné Fouché on Friday morning the 18th of August. There are two videos. Use the thumbnails below the slider to select the next video:


Here are a few photos of this remarkable leopard

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