Finding one leopard is always a treat when on a safari, but two, that is something else! Imagine Ryan’s feeling when he came across this sighting and suddenly realized what was actually going on.
Ryan Jenkins, a 45-year-old self-employed carpenter, tells LatestSightings.com the story: “This footage was taken on the 8th of August this year, on the road running next to the Sabie River towards Skukuza, just passed the S4.
We were driving for a while and did not spot too much. We spotted the odd impala, a few hippos here and there, and general game. But, we came to one curve in the road where we saw a Giraffe standing in the middle of the road looking towards the bush closest to the river with his ears pulled down, which is an obvious sign of nervousness.
Next thing, we saw this great big ball of dust going over the road and I said ‘OK guys, here we go’ and I drove towards the dust ball. We thought it was a predator, perhaps a lion that just took down an impala.
Getting there, we realized it was a leopard and thought ‘OK, cool! Leopard killing an impala!’ But, to our amazement, it was two leopards, and they were fighting! When the dust had settled, we saw that one was rather young and small compared to the other, more dominant one, which was attacking the younger one. We actually thought for a moment that they could just be playing, but just a bit rough.
Well, well, we quickly realized that they were not playing, this was a brutal attack on the little one and we thought it could only be about territory.
Once the little one showed he was submissive, by lying on his back and making himself smaller, the bigger leopard would turn around, walk away and let the little one be on his way.
But the smaller leopard came back again and again, and the older leopard grabbed the small leopard by the neck and held him down forcefully until you could see the little one suffocate and there was no life left in him.
The dominant leopard moved his grip from the neck to the mouth. He then bit down so hard, we could hear the skull break. The whole sighting must have taken about 20 to 25 minutes, it was absolutely horrific to see, but at the same time, very interesting and exciting.
This was not something you are likely to see again in a lifetime, my kids 7 and 5 could not believe what was happening, and the smaller of my two children were very sad and asked if the baby was dead? We just explained to him that yes, it was, but that this is how nature works, only the strong survive. They are wild animals and have to fend for themselves every day in order to survive.
We watched as the big leopard sat up, sniffing and licking the little one for at least 10 min, before wandering off into the bush. We went back later in the afternoon to see if the little one was still there, and yes, it was, but the next day it was gone.
The only people that saw this incredible sighting was my family in my vehicle and a small white bakkie coming from the opposite side with three occupants. It was awesome, but we just wished that the little one had been given a chance to live another day, but as we know, that’s life in the bush.