A lioness gave a leopard the fright of its life in some rare footage captured during a safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
The incredible encounter was caught on camera by Kayla du Toit, who described the sighting as follows:
“We drove in as soon as the gates opened at 5:30, but it was a quiet morning. We hadn’t seen much for around an hour. But, in the wild, anything can happen! All of a sudden my sister (our guide from Foxy Crocodile Bush Retreat) spotted a leopard scent marking next to us, just on the side of the road.”
“We followed it at a distance down the road and we saw it kept looking to the left into the bush, but, we just figured it was looking at antelope or hearing other noises. Eventually, we also decided to look to the left and we saw a lioness walking towards the leopard and going into a stalking position! The lioness walked all the way through to the leopard, and we just heard a loud roar and then they fought each other, it was very quick, and the leopard ran away quickly afterward.”
“We could not contain our excitement! Seeing a leopard so close is always so exciting and rare, so you can imagine how much more excited we got when we spotted the lion approaching the leopard. Just to see 2 of these amazing animals at the same time and then to see such a rare interaction was truly amazing and one of the best feelings ever!
I will never forget that moment and the feelings I felt, my heart beating insanely fast wondering what was going to happen and my hands shaking while taking the video, trying to watch and capture this moment at the same time. I was truly grateful after witnessing a once in a lifetime sighting.”
“The leopard ran off after the fight and we lost visual, the lioness continued to walk in the road for about 50m then disappeared into the bush on the opposite side of the road to where the leopard went, but, we could not find the leopard again nor the lion. For anyone who gets to have a rare sighting like this, always have patience, enjoy the moment, keep a distance so that you don’t scare the animals or ruin a certain interaction that may happen, switch the car off and take it all in from a respectable distance.”
Encounters like this is rare, as these two big cats generally avoid each other, though it has been caught on camera before. In the video below, a male lion gives a sleeping leopard a rude awakening. Watch: