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A leopard dive bomb!

Written by: Yasmin Tajik of Shalimar Studios

On a safari trip at Chief’s Camp in Botswana we were out one morning with our ranger Tutalife, exploring Moremi National Park, when Tutalife stopped the vehicle and pointed out a female leopard in the tree tops.

The leopard was intently watching a group of impala grazing nearby, and as they slowly moved under the tree we knew we were about to witness a once in a lifetime event. leopard-in-tree After about 10 minutes, we witnessed the leopard leap from the tree onto an unsuspecting impala below and before we knew it, the struggle had ended with a successful kill. dive-bomb-leopard dive-bombing-leopard leopard-jumps-from-tree-to-make-kill With the adrenalin pumping through our veins, we moved closer and captured amazing images of the leopard attempting to drag the carcass up a tree. She failed, and elected to eat the carcass on the ground instead. leopard-with-impala-kill leopard-with-kill leopard-with-kill-botswana leopard-with-kill-climbing-tree leopard-with-kill-in-botswana The scene continued to unfold in front of us, as she tore into the flesh of the impala, enjoying the spoils. She then made a second attempt to drag the carcass up into a tree, but the weight of both the leopard and carcass were too heavy for the branches and both subsequently fell to the ground. leopard-with-kill-in-tree leopard-with-kill-climbs-tree It was at that point that the leopard opted to hide the impala carcass behind her and nap in the cool shade. leopard-relaxing The opportunity to capture the entire scene unfolding right in front of me was pure luck. A big thank you to our ranger Tutalife for his excellent tracking skills.

Watch the incredible video below:

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  • michael chait

    Amazing footage, thanks so much.

  • bennah

    gr8 pics

  • subha

    Worst videography…nd y get so close to the animal disturbing him…!?

    • Michel Kapelle

      At exactly what point do you see the animal show any signals of being disturbed or stressed out?

      • Guest

        watch the video!!!!

      • Peter Apps

        0.29 min in as the leopard drags the kill away in response to a high speed close approach by the vehicle

        • Ron PARNELL

          Yes, spot on. Too quick off the mark. Had they waited the leopard may have tried to get the kill up there and then – after a chance to catch his breath, which he didn’t get.

  • Graeme

    pity the stupid driver didn’t think about the possible consequences of driving up to the leopard and risking him abandoning his meal. Then again the dumb tourists should have stopped him as well .

  • Peter Apps

    Off-road driving in Moremi ?!

  • http://www.askarisafari.com Stephen Paul Taylor

    Agreed amazing sight, but also agree the driver was probably too aggressive in his positioning of the vehicle, it definitely stressed the young cat out. Can’t blame the tourists they were obviously wrapped up in the events and probably didn’t know better. Great spotting by the guide ( I have been a Zim Guide 20+ years) and thanks for sharing.

  • disqus_U3EdlITbEp

    I also agree that the driver was irresponsible and should have allowed more time and space to the leopard. I felt sad for the leopard!

  • Carla Afrika Fleming Sitar

    Sad that such a magnificent hunter cannot enjoy his/her meal in peace

  • Alan Dean Foster

    Driver and guide were looking for a big tip and nothing else. See it happen all the time. Sole interest in the cat was as a money-maker. You won’t see the videos of when the vehicle drives the predator away from its prey.
    What, no telephoto on the video camera?
    Letter of disapproval sent to relevant authorities in Botswana.

  • VanGooiland

    It is glaringly obvious that the fourth pic in this series is out of sequence, most likely disingenuously and intentionally so. It does not show the leopard catching the impala ewe, but rather shows her jumping out of the tree after the failed attempt to carry the carcass up the trunk. That picture therefore chronologically belongs in eighth place.

    Who says we readers are stupid and easily fooled?

  • alukard

    Please use a zoom camera on a tripod next time instead of firing up the noisy car and moving in to close to animal. I think we will still appreciate the amazing spectacle.
    Thanks anyways for capturing the initial kill.

  • Sonia

    I am so horrified and quite truly shocked at how insensitive the driver of this vehicle was to literally “prey” upon and stalk this leopard so callously. It is not worth the photos to treat wild creatures this way. Please, educate us through words and not through any means that disturbs the wildlife we are so desperately wanting to preserve and protect.

  • Sonia

    I’m actually also very disappointed that this was posted. I subscribe to these newsletters because of a great respect for wildlife in Africa and a tremendous desire to learn about it and protect it from future harm and stress.

  • Hans

    Why you follow the Leo ? Stupid action ! buy better camera-lenses

  • mgana izumbe

    You have done good job

  • Sue

    Photos are better than the video. Use a long lens — don’t get close and disturb an animal who is eating!

  • Nick JW

    What an awesome viewing

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