The Maxabeni Female superbly hoisted her latest kill into the branches of a Marula tree. She fed for a while before settling down for a little sleep. She had been magnificent and deserved a rest. The kill was safe up in the tree…or was it?
We saw him approaching from the north. The massive frame of the Camp Pan Male. The southerly wind had carried the smell of death across the airwaves. Dinner was waiting… why kill for yourself when others have done all the hard work!
She did not see him until he had launched himself into the tree. In a flash he was on top of her and beating her with his heavy paws. He is double her size and much more aggressive. The movement of the two leopards high up in the tree was spectacular. In an instant, not only had he stolen her kill, but chased her into the upper canopy of the tree. He could now feed on the young male Impala.
But his aggression did not end there…he carried on harassing her, beating her whenever she tried to move. She was desperate to get down from the tree and onto terra firma. Hopping from branch to branch she tried every angle. His patience finally go the better of him and he attacked…from a height of 10 meters he sent her flying. I have never seen a leopard be hit out of a tree before! Impossible to capture on film, but forver engrained in my mind, is the image of her falling; legs splayed, falling and falling. She hit the ground with a thud and ran…how she got out of this one unscathed I have no idea. The Leopards of Londolozi amaze me once more.
Written, filmed and photgraphed by Adam Bannister