Involved Leopards

Plaque Rock 3:3 Female

Plaque Rock 3:3 Female

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Kirst Joscelyne


At less than a year old, Kirst went to her family’s hut in the Greater Kruger National Park, and has been fortunate enough to continue to go there ever since. Sharing a passion for the bush with her family, led to countless trips ...

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on The Story Behind the Video – A Lioness and a Leopard in a Tree

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Vin Beni
Master Tracker

Totally incredible experience!

Michael and Terri Klauber
Master Tracker

Kirst, Thanks for the full story on one of the most incredible sightings ever! Wondering how often there are interactions between lions and leopards? Guessing since leopards are usually solo, that if a pride was heading their way, the leopard would leave quickly unless the leopard was in a tree like that!

Michael and Terri, we do have a few encounters of both lions and leopards however normally with a leopard being chased up a tree with the lions waiting below however when a carcass is involved it brings in a whole new dynamic !

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

My gosh! I stopped breathing for the leopard! I was afraid the lionesses could kill her… what a great story and video thank you!

Francesca I can say I shared that sentiment at the time!

Gemma Kemps
Digital Ranger

I wonder if this accomplishment by the lioness has given it a new found confidence and will repeat this in the future. Incredible sighting and pictures.

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Wow, what an adventure and what good luck you had to be able to watch such a sight! I really envy you. These lions of Londolozi are really very dedicated animals, dedicated to reach their own goals, whatever it takes. It’s just amazing. One can see how huge this lioness is in comparison to the leopardess though even she is a big animal. I have seen lionesses climbing trees, however never such vertical trunks. Incredible.

William Paynter
Master Tracker

Wow, what a fabulous video and what an encounter with two big cats!!

Lisa Antell
Master Tracker

This interaction was heart stopping and sensational. I am so glad that Plaque Rock or the lioness wasn’t hurt. But it sure puts rest to the idea that leopards are safe from lions in the highest thinnest branches of trees! Actually the branch breaking probably saved Plaque Rock’s life.

Leopards don’t give up)

Johanna Browne
Senior Digital Ranger

Just wow. Amazing story and footage! Thank you so much for sharing this, the beautiful description and expressing your fear that the leopard may have been killed. It’s sensitivity in preserving the beauty of a sentient being and not desiring to witness the violence that I appreciate so much. It shows a true an honest heart of a guide!

Suzanne Gibson
Master Tracker

Thank you so much for this blog; I’d been reading comments about this and was desperate to see what had happened. I would have been terrified too for Plaque Rock if I’d been there, especially after what happened to the Piva male. Thank goodness she escaped unharmed and was very lucky to avoid the other 2 lions on the ground.

Mama Lioness
Senior Digital Ranger

A few thoughts come to mind upon viewing the pictures,..
First, the picture of the Plaque Rock female Leopard yawning,.. (as it said here on the mainland,..) “Eating good in the neighborhood,” .. Little Miss Leopard looks content, as she definitely had a good meal, amidst her tummy looking to be quiet full.
Second, the look on the Lioness’s face as she took a “perch break”, and gazed out to the horizon, to me looks as if she was giving a “photo op” amidst feeling victorious for her climbing efforts. As she forged on to climb the Marula tree, the picture in thought reminds me of the quote from the movie “Dumbo.” The Lioness looks to be thinking and saying “I think I can! I think I can!” 🙂
Such lovely captures Kirst!
When she finally got to have a bite of her fought for meal, she says “Yum! Yum! Yum!” 🙂

Mj Bradley
Senior Digital Ranger

That was intense, very happy Plaque Rock made her escape and the lioness wasn’t injured in the fall.

Multa Nocte

Totally incredible! Thank you for posting this!

David Finkle

WOW!! If this video doesn’t go viral, nothing will.

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

What an incredible sighting and thank you Sandra for sharing the video with us. I have never seen anything like this before. So exciting and also very shocking at the same time. I am grateful and thankful that the plague rock female is not hurt and also the lioness. The sheer strength and determination from both cats, one protecting herself and her kill, the other trying to steal the kill. Fantastic story and video. Sad to hear Ranger Josh had his last game drive, he can be pleased with this exciting experience that he saw first hand, for his last drive. All the best Josh were ever you may be going in the future.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Unbelievable- I’m speechless! How amazing you were there to capture this encounter. Just proves, you can’t predict what you’ll see on a game drive!

That is certainly true! Luckily my guest was filming behind me to capture the entire saga!

Bob and Lucie Fjeldstad
Master Tracker

Great storytelling Kirst! Fascinating to hear the lioness was after the leopard!

Cally Staniland
Master Tracker

Kirst, I think I’m not alone in saying I have watched this clip over and over again in total disbelieve and awe ! What an incredible sight to have seen, the build up must have been super intense ..boy what a farewell for Josh And certainly one that will be the icing on the cake for you and your guests for a long, long time to come 💗‼️‼️

Thanks so much Cally!

Moira McLachlan

Brilliant footage, I just loved it thank you for sharing this great story.

Barbara Russell

Awesome story!!

Carly M
Digital Tracker

Wow!!! 😳 That was incredible to watch!! So scary, it really looked like the lion was going to get her, thankfully the branch broke!!! The poor leopard, my goodness! What a sight to see! Thankfully the leopard got away!

Thank goodness indeed that the branch broke! It was certainly a close call.

Wendy Macnicol
Digital Tracker

Now THAT was very exciting indeed! Amazing to see the 2 big cats together for a short space of time and realize how very different they are in size! What a very fascinating blog! Thank you so much Kirst! With our great admiration! Neil and Wendy M

Angela Spilsbury

Thank you for sharing. What a sighting for you all a very special moment.

Callum Evans
Master Tracker

This video took me completely by surprise!!

Paul Canales
Master Tracker

Brilliant video and amazing backstory!! Thank you Kirst for sharing all of this!!

Kimberly Zilles
Senior Digital Ranger

Everytime I watch I am wowed by this encounter. To think the lioness wasn’t just after a free meal and wanted to kill the rival leopard helps to explain the great lengths that she went to in climbing the tree. Incredible!

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