Watch: leopard catches prey mid-air

Posted by Ishani Chetty on 4 January 2019

Rare footage of a leopard hunting its prey has been shared on a Kruger’s Latest sightings website that showcases the agility and hunting prowess of the majestic big cat.

Mario Paul caught the jaw-dropping sight of the leopard leaping into the air to grab its prey, an impala, by the neck in the nick of time.

The moment is a perfect display of the leopard’s hunting skills, and the video shows the lead up to the leopard’s attack in which the big cat is seen crawling stealthily towards the unassuming herd of impala near a river.

Paul told LatestSightings.com that he was notified about a leopard sleeping on the rocks at Biyamiti Weir, an area in the famous Kruger park known for its frequent game sightings.

Upon arrival, Paul found that the leopard was no longer near the rocks but close to a river embankment.

‘I drove to higher ground where I could see what was going on, and that’s when I saw the leopard on the edge of the riverbank watching a herd of impala grazing on the bank,’ Paul said.

Riverbanks provide an ideal hunting spot as other animals seek cooler areas during the warmer parts of the day. After patiently waiting for the right moment, Paul was provided a front row seat to the leopard’s hunt.

Paul told Latest Sightings that the leopard displayed extreme talent in hunting as he concealed himself among the bushes, crouching down as he prowled towards the herd of impala. With the final kill in sight, the leopard approaches the herd, launching into the air to capture the impala.

After the successful hunt, Paul witnessed the predator dragging the impala more than 300 m away to a big tree.

‘It was an amazing experience to witness how the hunt progressed from start to finish and to have been able to capture it on film was just incredible,’ he said.

Facts about leopards 

The African leopard (Panthera pardus) is considered a vulnerable species according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Its population is in decline and leopards are threatened due to loss of habitat and farmers attempting to protect their livestock from these agile predators.

According to the South African National Institute for Biodiversity (SANBI) these members of the Big Five family are known to be solitary and reclusive big cats.

SANBI reports that each leopard has a unique set of whiskers and rosette patterns, making them distinctive to other leopards.

Leopards are opportunistic hunters with powerful legs, a great asset for them when it comes to hunting prey.

 

Picture: Unsplash

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