On a safari, coming across a leopard is an incredible treat. But this group got an opportunity two watch two leopards.
Ryan Jenkins, 45, told the story to latestsightings. He was on this journey and had no idea what was going to happen.
The 45 years old carpenter recorded this footage on the road parallel to the Sabie River. It was the 8th of August, 2018.
They kept on driving but didn’t come across any unusual activity. They saw an impala along with a few hippos, and other game animals. After a while, they saw an adult Giraffe standing still in the middle of the road. He was staring at the bush near the river, and from his ears, it was clear that he was nervous. When giraffes and other wild animals are nervous, their ears are pulled down.
In the next few moments, we saw dust flying on the road here and there. That dust ball grew bigger so they drove towards it. They thought it was some predator attacking prey. Maybe a lion that was trying to take down an impala.
But the sighting proved them wrong. It was a fight between two leopards. As soon as the dust settled, the group saw that one leopard was younger than the other. At first, Ryan thought that the two were playing, but they were not.
They quickly realized that the two were not having fun. In fact, the younger one was getting beat up by the older leopard. At first, they thought the fight was about territory.
Here is what was happening: the little leopard showed he gave up by lying on his back. The other leopard turned around to walk away, but the little one started chasing him. This happened repeatedly.
When the bigger cat got fed up, he grabbed the leopard by the neck holding him down with force. He kept on suffocating him until he showed no signs of life.
The bigger cat then put his jaws on the younger leopards’ mouth and bit down so hard that the sound of skull breaking could be heard. The whole encounter took 25 minutes, give or take. It was a horrific scene, but exciting at the same time.
It was a once in a lifetime sighting. Ryan’s two kids, aged 5 and 7, wondered if what they saw was real. The younger kid asked whether the little leopard was dead. Ryan noded his head and explained that this the way nature works. These wild animals have to face these encounters on a daily basis for survival. This is what we call survival of the fittest.
The big cat sniffed and licked the little leopard for a few minutes and then wandered off into the nearby bush. Later in the afternoon, we saw the little one at the same place but it was gone the next day.
Ryan and his family saw this encounter in the vehicle. And then there was a bakkie approaching from the other side carrying three people. Although the sighing was interesting and exciting, they wished that the younger leopard should have give a chance to see another. But we know that life is difficult in the bush.