A brave newborn buck, in a fight for its life, headbutts a leopard that’s trying to eat it when it realizes its mother has left it alone.
Johan Seekles, a manager at Fokker Services Group, captured the heartbreaking moments on film and shared them with LatestSightings.com.
“We had been driving down the main tar road towards Satara Rest Camp, not very hopeful of anything special as it was pretty late in the morning already. The area around Satara Rest Camp is mostly open plains with small shrubs and bushes scattered throughout. As we were approaching a small thicket on the roadside, a flutter of movement caught my eye.”
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“Slowing down to investigate the movement, I saw a mother leopard! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Just then, some more movement behind the bushes drew my attention, and it was the leopard’s cub. The cub was sitting in the long grass with a small buck between its paws.”
This little buck headbutts a leopard in an attempt to escape death!
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“The little newborn buck looked like a duiker and was still very much alive. My theory is that the mother duiker had hidden her newborn in the thick bush, and the leopard, by mistake, found it. The leopard cub was extremely curious. You could see he had no idea what to do.”
“That’s when the most heartbreaking thing happened. The little duiker’s survival instincts kicked in, and it tried to fight the inevitable. It headbutted the leopard cub several times, hoping to escape. But the leopard cub didn’t give it a chance and continued pawing at the little buck, pushing it from side to side. The duiker squealed and cried for help.”
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“Eventually, the duiker was put out of its misery, and the hunting lesson was over. The cub picked up the duiker and made off with it. It went into some taller grass, and we were unable to see the ending. But it was definite that the little leopard cub was the only winner on this day.”
Leopard moms teach their cubs how to hunt. They show them how to camouflage and be patient while hunting. At first, the cubs watch their mom closely and copy her. As they grow, the mom lets them practice with small prey. She guides them gently, teaching them to be careful and precise. This helps the cubs learn to hunt on their own and survive in the wild.