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Leopard Hunting Jackal That’s Hunting Birds

Leopard Hunting Jackal That's Hunting Birds
Leopard Hunting Jackal That’s Hunting Birds

In this unexpected moment, a leopard catches a jackal that is busy hunting a flock of doves! This unbelievable sighting unravelled in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Digital marketing strategist and wildlife enthusiast, Bertie van Greunen and his wife Ria witnessed this amazing scene and shared their story with

Leopard Hunting Jackal That's Hunting Birds
Leopardess in Kgalagadi

“Early morning on the 19th of June 2022, on our last day at Polentswa, we were woken up by a cheetah call and decided to take a drive. We saw the cheetah on the ridge, but never got a clear view so after 20 minutes we decided to go to the waterhole where two jackals had been very entertaining – as we had come to learn over our trip.”

Leopard Hunting Jackal That's Hunting Birds
Leopard stalking jackal

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“It was a beautiful morning when we turned onto the road towards the Polentswa waterhole. What happened next was truly one of those moments when your heart starts pumping at a rate as if you were doing a marathon.”

The hunter becomes the hunted

“We both spotted the leopardess called Olebeli at the same time. We slowly drove in and she was sitting upright, looking towards a herd of springboks that were just leaving the waterhole. And of course, the many doves that come and go to drink water. The daily ritual then began where the two jackals started stalking the doves.”

Leopard and jackal in Kgalagadi

“The doves came in for a landing, and the two jackals prepared for an interception in hopes of enjoying an early breakfast. What they didn’t know was that another hunter’s menu looked very different from theirs. One of the jackals made a few attempts while Olebeli was lying in the grass. The jackal had another go and jumped, but whilst air-born Olebeli took off at the same time and there was nothing he could do to escape.”


“He was helpless in the air and the timing of the leopard was spot on. The jackal knew he was in trouble and had no chance.”

“The other jackal jumped up and down and alarm-called but there was nothing he could do. Olebeli grabbed the jackal by the throat and took off with her catch. I quickly switched on the vehicle and reversed like crazy to get into the main road to see if we could still catch a glimpse of her and her prey.”

Leopard Hunting Jackal That's Hunting Birds
Leopard goes for jackal while it’s hunting doves

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“We saw her crossing the road as predicted then she jumped up onto the side of the road and looked back at us one last time while holding onto the jackal. Sadly, that was the end of the jackal. Driving back to our campsite in Polentswa, we could not believe what we just experienced.”

“Later that afternoon we went back to the waterhole and saw the jackal’s friend was still looking for him and which brought some tears to both my wife and me. It was such a unique sighting, but very emotional at the same time and perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. This is for sure an experience my wife and I will never forget. That’s why we keep on going back and have done so for the last 10 plus years.”

Leopard walking off with her prize

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