Watch the nerve-wracking moment caught on camera when a male leopard finds himself surrounded by a pride of lions in the Kruger National Park!
Kerry Balaam, long-time Latest Sightings Member who has shared over 1,000 sightings and professional guide that runs Kruger Pride Safaris, watched this exciting scene play itself out over the August long weekend while on a drive with her guests for Kruger Pride Safaris and Birdsong Lodge.
Kerry explained to LatestSightings.com how the leopard found itself stuck in this less-than-ideal situation:
“Just after my guests and I left Lower Sabie camp, one of the busiest camps in the Kruger Park, we found a pride of lions.”
“The lions started walking and we followed them. The pride male seemed very interested in the lionesses. That male lion and one of the lionesses started running towards a bush and chased this leopard that must have been hiding behind the rocks. Within moments, the whole pride was surrounding the leopard!”
“As one can tell from the footage, the leopard wasn’t there for a fight. It was acting very submissive. He was lying down, keeping himself small. His head was down and his ears were flat, all techniques to show to the lions that he wanted to survive uninjured and that he wouldn’t attack if they wouldn’t.”
“Another extremely submissive behavior displayed was when the leopard rolled over. That is one of the most vulnerable positions for a cat to be in because the most delicate parts of the body are exposed. He obviously knew he didn’t have a chance against a pride of lions, so he was trying his best to let them know he wasn’t going to cause any trouble if they just let him go.”
“Lions tend to have very short attention spans. It seems as if they just wanted to check if the leopard was going to put up a fight, saw that he meant no harm and then they got distracted. While the lions were distracted, the leopard saw the perfect opportunity to escape the danger. It got up, sneaked away, and then ran for its life!”
“The lions gave a bit of a chase as the leopard made a run for it, but then carried on sleeping on the rocks for the rest of the day, as lions do!”
“Everyone on the vehicle was very excited to see such an interaction! I have never seen such a sighting like this before, it was crazy! And I will never forget it.”
SOUTH PHILIPPINES made the mistake of jumping off the treetops and being attacked by a pack of lions.
The encounter between lions and leopards in the Mala Mala nature reserve, South Africa, caught the camera of guide Michael Botes, Latest Sightings reported on November 3. During an afternoon tour, Botes encountered 12 immature members of the Kambula lion and leopard Mlowathi atop a marula tree.
“At first I was worried about the leopard, but both sides saw each other and didn’t seem to mind. The lions came to a lake while the leopard groomed itself. Most of the lions began to sleep, except for one female, who is always watching the leopard. Eventually, the leopard climbed down from the tree. If it weren’t for the lioness, she might have escaped the 12 lions safely,” Botes said.
Leopards quickly realized the mistake and instinctively ran to a second marula tree and climbed up to avoid the lion. While the lions gathered around the tree trunk, the leopard roared at them from above. A young lioness climbed up causing the leopard to jump in panic. Although it landed without injury, it was surrounded by lions. After 30 minutes of fighting, in the end, the leopard was still the one who died.
“In my 16 years in the reserve, I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve also talked to many longtime guides, but no one has ever witnessed this. As guides, we caught up many times. encounter a leopard carcass killed by lions and other predators, but it takes the right time to see it with your own eyes,” Botes said.
“If the leopard had stayed on the first tree, it would have survived. I’m sure in the 14 years or so of its life it has outlived many lions, but going up against 12 lions. The young man is eager to prove himself a fatal mistake,” he said.
Leopards (Panthera pardus) are large cats distributed in sub-Saharan Africa, northeastern Africa, Central Asia, India and China. Their prey includes antelope, deer, wild boar, rabbits, fish, birds and a number of other creatures. Leopards are good at climbing and can jump up to 3 m high.
The African lion (Panthera leo) is the only cat in the world that lives in groups. Male lions guard the territory of the herd and females are the main hunters. Their prey includes antelope, zebra, wildebeest and a number of other mammals.