A leopard caught an impala, and immediately other predators came in to do the scavenging… All while the impala is still alive!
Here’s how one of the witnesses described the extraordinary sighting: “This was a once in a lifetime experience. In the past, we’ve always arrived to find a leopard in a tree with a carcass or hyenas finishing off the scraps, but this time, it was like hitting the game reserve sighting jackpot!”
“We were heading out of camp when we heard baboons alarm calling, so we raced to the riverbed in search of the commotion. We had just missed the actual catch but saw the rest of the impala scattering, so we knew something was going on and that’s when we spotted the leopard, dragging an impala, with a wild dog hot on its pursuit. The lone wild dog, who is one of a pack made up of 11 adults and 10 pups, was yapping as the leopard dragged the meal (still alive at the time) up from the riverbed onto the open area that you see in the video.”
“The leopard managed to chase the wild dog off, but the wild dog called for the others and just before the leopard reached the tree to get its meal up to safety, away from the scavengers, the pack of wild dogs ran onto the scene and scared the leopard into the tree, leaving the impala on the ground. The impala saw the opportunity and tried to make a run for it, just before it was brought down again by the wild dogs!”
“The dogs quickly started making work of eating the meal while two others kept the leopard in the tree by jumping up and snarling at the leopard from below. It all went quiet for a while as the wild dogs feasted on the leopards’ well-earned meal, just before 2 hungry hyenas burst onto the scene as well, quickly making their way through the wild dogs, and to the meal. One hyena kept the wild dogs at bay while the other was enjoying the impala all to itself until a 3rd hyena also joined.”
“The wild dogs moved off into the bush for a while as a 4th hyena also made its way to the meal but was chased off by the other 3 hyenas. The wild dogs returned every so often to see if they could win the meal back, but, as the minutes past, there was less and less left of the carcass.”
“We only found out afterward that the dogs were about to bring the pups to the kill after dealing with the leopard, but stopped on the road not far away (out of shot) once the hyenas arrived. There were 9 hyenas in total which have been tracking the dogs all week and the previous day we saw the dogs chase the hyenas away from a waterhole when the pups needed to drink.”
“The hyenas finished off every shred of the impala except the head, within minutes, only stopping to fight with each other – and the largest female then made off with the head to a nearby open field. The leopard then came down the tree and followed the hyenas to see if he could pick up any scraps but ended up with nothing, just watching from a distance.”