Using diabetes to track leopards

By | 26 October, 2009
An insulin-seeking leopard

An insulin-seeking leopard

It’s been a while folks what with work being a bit manic and then the husband and I heading off to South Africa for a marvellous holiday, but I’m back!

And what pearl of wisdom did I discover during my little break? Diabetes can be an excellent way of attracting leopards.

We’d had a great game drive, we’d seen elephants and rhino, lots of impala and a dung beetle but no luck with the leopard. Our ranger radioed the lodge to let them know we’d be back in 10 mins for breakfast. I decided to be a good diabetic and bolus for breakfast immediately so it had a little time to start working.

I’d delivered 6 units of insulin when the call came over the radio – a leopard had been spotted about 5 minutes from us. This was too good an opportunity to miss, breakfast was cancelled and we set off through the bush to track the leopard. I cancelled the rest of my bolus, had a couple of fruit pastilles and spent the most amazing hour following a leopard as it wandered through the bush.

The moral of the story? If you really want to see something on safari, give up all hope and bolus for breakfast. The chance to cause a hypo is too good for any self respecting leopard to miss and they appear almost immediately!

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About Alison

Diagnosed with Type One in 1983 at the age of four, Alison's been at this for a while now. She uses Humalog in a combined insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring system and any blood glucose meter as long as it takes five seconds or less.

7 thoughts on “Using diabetes to track leopards

  1. Ckoei

    Beautiful songololo (millipede) and bloukopkoggelmander (lizard). Did you encounter mopanie worms at breakfast? And you should maybe change the caption “Cape Town villa” to “Blouberg? Melkbos? villa”. It’s like placing a photo named “Liverpool villa” while staying at Formby or Southport.

    (Meanwhile, I’ll inform our neighbour to go look for her missing cat in Hermanus.)

  2. Alison


    Facebook is duly amended to read “Villa in Sunset Beach, Cape Town”. Although I must confess that while I say I live in Liverpool as it’s our nearest major town I actually live about 10 miles outside Liverpool so I seem to be lying about my location all over the place 😉

    No mopanie worms on this trip, but now we know about them we have the perfect excuse to go back to South Africa to try them!

  3. Tim

    Ckoei : It’s like placing a photo named “Liverpool villa” while staying at Formby or Southport.

    Why would anyone want to stay in Formby or Southport??

  4. Alison

    @Tim Formby has cute red squirrels and a nice beach. Southport has good wedding dress shops. Other than that, I’d favour Cape Town.

  5. Ckoei

    @Alison If my pet squirrel ever wants to get married, I now know where to go to find both potential partners & pretty frocks!

    From the sublimely ridiculous to the culinary: What South African foodstuff(s) played havoc with your blood sugar? (excluding leopard, of course.)

    1. Alison

      @Ckoei We had the most delicious diabetic friendly food. Gorgeous fresh fruit, veg and fish. Plenty of delicious cakes too but even they didn’t upset the D too much. South Africa seems to agree with my diabetes.


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