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Leopard Strikes Buck From Tree

We all know that “seizing the opportunity” can sometimes come with great rewards. Leopards are the best at seizing an opportunity, being one of Africa’s most prominent opportunists. So, when a small buck walked under a tree a leopard was sleeping in, the leopard took up this opportunity for a meal! caught up with 31-year-old, family business owner in Cape Town – Mikhail Messaris (the filmmaker of this spectacular sighting) and, excitedly, he explained: “This happened on the Ngobeni loop, off the H14, between Mopani and Phalaborwa. My wife, Candice, and I were making our way out of the park through the Phalaborwa gate when we decided to have a last look for a male leopard known to reside there.”

“We arrived at the Ngobeni loop shortly before lunchtime, a time when you would expect the big cats to be fast asleep. We spotted two other vehicles on the loop that had turned off their ignitions, obviously having spotted something. A few seconds later we realized they were not looking at the herd impala on the other side of the bank, but a male leopard standing in a tree seizing up his potential meals grazing below.”

“Over the next couple of minutes, he positioned himself in a way that would allow him to surprise a steenbok with an aerial attack. He demonstrated true patience by allowing the steenbok to be in just the right spot. Then, like a missile, he dive-bombed out the tree and landed directly on top of the steenbok sending the surrounding herd of impala into a complete snorting panic! The leopard then began making this way towards a big tree where he obviously enjoys his meals.”

“He easily cleared the small stream with his quarry before hoisting his meal. My wife and I have spent a fair amount of time traversing the central region of Kruger Park over the years, but we have had very few and far between sightings of big cats, let alone a hunt!”


“That thrilling moment of witnessing the drama unfolding before us will most certainly be hard to trump in the future. I don’t know how I managed to keep the camera so still?”

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