Watch this unusual sighting of a confused leopard waiting and watching a baby wildebeest. The weak and lone baby did not stand a chance against this successful hunter who successfully brings down the baby and takes the food back to her 3-month-old cub.
This unique sighting of this leopard watching, and eventually catching, a wildebeest calf was captured by 36-year-old Tour Guide/Musician, Francis Kijazi, while on safari with a client in Kusini, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.
Francis tells Latestsightings.com the story: “I spotted a leopard in the tree about 500 yards from the road, we followed it and were taking pictures for about 40 minutes. The weak and dehydrated baby wildebeest that possibly lost its mom during the migration chaos walked past the tree, he stopped moving to conserve energy.”
“The leopard spotted the baby and climbed down the tree. The leopard crept up behind the baby and watched it for about 5 minutes – it was very confused with both the presence and behaviour of the baby.”
“Inevitably, the leopard brought down the baby wildebeest, chocked it and then dragged it to a nearby bush under an acacia tree where her 3-month-old cub was resting.”
“The sighting made me feel excited, anxious and curious – it was sad because it wasn’t a fair game but I wanted to see the end of it with the leopard being victorious.”
“In my 11 years of guiding I have only seen 5 leopards, this was a very rare sighting and the events playing out in such an open and visible area made it even more special!”
Francis says “in order to capture an incredible sighting, it is important to calm the nerves down, stop talking or making any unexpected sudden noise that may spook the animal and try to take in every single moment of it.”
After several times of butting the leopard, the young nyala successfully frustrates the predator, but it follows the predator and is eventually eaten.
Andre Fourie, forest protection officer and safari guide, witnessed the young nyala’s survival efforts in front of leopards in Kruger National Park, South Africa, at the end of November. Before that, Juan Pinto, director manager of the Royal Malewane guesthouse, discovers fresh traces of leopards and calls Fourie with them. They quickly discovered the male leopard named Mondzo was busy patrolling the territory after heavy rain.
When they caught up with the leopard, they saw it herding a young nyala. Although they always instinctively run away when they encounter predators, young nyalas are not fast enough to escape, so leopards just lazily follow behind to keep an eye on their prey.
As soon as he realized he couldn’t escape, the young nyala turned to face the leopard and slowly approached the enemy. It decided to fight the leopard by rushing suddenly and repeatedly headbutting the predator.
Seemingly losing interest, the leopard’s instinct to kill prey temporarily dissipated. The two animals rested for a while before leaving. Fourie and the guests were surprised to see the young nyala follow the leopard. After almost two hours of wandering with its prey, the leopard finally ate the nyala.
“One of the guests even hoped that the young nyala might run away as soon as the leopard loses interest, but we know that won’t happen. If the nyala successfully escapes and reunites with family, the mother antelope will certainly reject and drive it away because it smells of predators. Whatever the outcome, the young antelope is unlikely to survive,” Fourie said.
The nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) is native to southern Africa. 135 – 195 cm long and 55 – 140 kg in weight, this herbivore has a timid and cautious nature. They prefer to live in dense shrubs in the desert and near waterholes. The nyala preys on lions, leopards, wild dogs, baboons and raptors.