This eleven-month-old leopard cub that got sniffed out by a hungry hyena had to make a desperate run for its life – and was saved from death by a nearby tree.
The one hyena in a pack of four had walked past the young leopard who had been left hiding under a bush by its mother while she went out to hunt for a kill to feed it.
This nail-biting sighting was captured by 30-year-old, accountant and part time photographic guide, Moosa Varachia, while on a game drive on the S1 in the Kruger National Park.
Moosa tells Latestsightings.com the story: “We had just had an incredible sighting of a male leopard at the Nwaswitshaka waterhole and it was time for the dreaded drive to the gate which brings the end to the day. We stopped on the S1 and there was a young leopard sitting in the dense bush. We took some photos and videos and were just about to leave when I looked up and saw a clan of hyena approaching!”
“I knew that this situation may not end well for the leopard cub.”
But as this incredible footage shows, the alpha hyena catches the leopard’s scent and turns and retraces its footsteps and tries to hunt out the potential competitor and then spots it.
The young leopard, realising its hiding place has been spotted and that mum is not around to save her, makes a sprint for safety but being so young cannot reach its adult speed.
The 40mph hyena, which was an estimated 5 foot long and 3 foot at the shoulder, and weighing 100lbs, would have easily taken the young cub out when it caught her.
But the canny cub spotted a tree and, using its claws, managed narrowly to outrun the carnivore that was out to kill it, and climb a tree and escape its hunter.
“It was an emotional roller coaster and I was extremely delighted to see the cub survive!”