When you think of Africa’s big cats, you most likely imagine ferocious predators who take down their prey with precision and speed. But the leopard in this video seems to have had a change of heart and has “adopted” a baby antelope as its own.
The surprising footage shows the cat resting calmly in a tree with the helpless animal gently pinned beneath its massive paw. At times, the leopard even seems to glance endearingly at its new friend.
While it might seem like the leopard is indulging its maternal instinct, cats are known to play with their prey — and the reality is that it’s probably only keeping the creature alive to prolong the game of cat and mouse. Or, perhaps it was even using the baby as bait to lure its mother back.
In any case, the cat’s true intentions become clear once the antelope attempts to escape. Using its sharp claws and teeth, the leopard quickly springs into action and manages to drag the wriggling calf back into submission. Even the antelope seems to know its doomed as it cries helplessly.
Once this seemingly warm moment is over, it will no doubt serve as the cat’s next meal.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a leopard interacting with young, weak prey in such a gentle way. Check out this video of a leopard “adopting” a baby baboon.
Unfortunately, these encounters rarely ever end well for the prey, as this video of a leopard capturing a newborn impala shows.