A Savuti fishing leopard in action

Written by: Marco Ansón

We were in the Savuti region of the Chobe National Park in Botswana during the winter months when the Savuti Channel had been reduced to a series of small pools. We knew about Savuti fishing leopards thanks to a BBC documentary that we had watched, so we waited close to the waterhole where a leopard had recently been spotted in the hope of witnessing a fishing feline for ourselves.

And then we saw her. There were catfish in the waters, but when we saw the leopard move to the edge of the pool, we initially thought she was just going to have a drink.

savuti-leopard

However, the leopard surprised us by very slowly entering the pool of water. Time stood still for us as we watched, and she seemed to take a long time to make her way steadily further into the shallows.

savuti-leopard-water

Everything was silent. Then suddenly the leopard dunked her head into the dark pool and, as fast as lightning, caught a catfish in her mouth!

savuti-leopard-fishing leopard-catfish-savuti

She then left the muddy waters quickly and came close to our vehicle to rest in the shade and eat her catfish trophy. We couldn’t believe our luck!

muddy-savuti-leopard savuti-leopard-muddy

Watch the video of this fishing feline here:

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