A male leopard in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve kills a young and unsuspecting leopard cub. It then watches a clan of scavenging hyenas move in, roll all over the leopard and devour the young cub’s lifeless body.
26-year-old field guide, Donovan Cross witnessed a sighting of a lifetime. He shared the incredibly nail-biting encounter with LatestSightings.com:
My guests were excited to head out on our afternoon game drive. My plan for the afternoon was to locate a Tom leopard. I drove to an area within Kirkman’s Kamp concession in the Lion Sands Game Reserve where this leopard was last seen.”
“My tracker Eckson was on foot and in search of any signs that may lead us to the leopard when all of a sudden he gained visual of the leopard.”
Leopards are very shy animals and tend to flee at the sight of humans on foot. Field guide Donovan was swift in picking up his tracker. He then proceeded to approach the leopard with his vehicle. However, this leopard was just as shy and anxious about the vehicle, which was strange.
“When we got there, the leopard was nervous and kept running away from the vehicle. This was unusual as we see this specific male quite often. We decided to leave him and allow him some space. Whilst enjoying the spectacular African sun going down below the horizon. Just then snarls of fighting leopards broke the silence.”
“I made my way frantically to the source of the sound and as we got closer, a clan of excited hyenas escorted us to the source of the sound. The result of the chaos became apparent when my eyes fell upon a young female leopard cub that had been killed. The clan of scavenging hyenas now began moving in and devoured the young cub’s lifeless body.”
Donovan explains, “After sitting for a while and observing the anarchy, out of nowhere the male leopard emerged with a face covered in blood. That is when the puzzle pieces fell into place.”
Did you know? With our Latest Sightings App you can ting from various parks and reserves in Southern Africa!
Male leopards are very territorial animals and are possessive over female leopards that may be potential mates and when this male came across a female leopard and her cub, he instinctively killed the helpless young cub so that he may coerce her into estrus. Potentially presenting him the opportunity of mating with her to preserve his very own bloodline.
“The male leopard did not get an opportunity to get close to the carcass, as the hyenas had completely taken over. We eventually left the sighting with the male leopard still in the same vicinity where the chaos unfolded.”