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Leopard

  Andy (our guide) smiles as he puts the Land Rover into gear and says “Do you hear that?  Jackal alarm calls.”  We speed off in the direction of the call and find two jackals looking in a tree.

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  As we drive toward the tree, Andy asks us if we see the leopard.  None of us do. 

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  I have seen a number of leopards but usually at night and never in a tree.  As we stopped and took photos, Andy pointed out the impala in the tree with her (look closely in the photo above and you can see it).  We were able to get lots of photos but the bright light in the background didn’t help.

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  Before long, she stood up and climbed down the tree.

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  We spent a long time just watching her, but like most satisfied cats, she just lounged around.

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  Since she had a kill in the tree, Andy was confident that she would hang around for the rest of the day, so we decided to go back to camp and return in the evening when the lighting would be ideal.

  The rest of the day, I was looking forward to getting that “perfect” photo.  We started out early and arrived to find a hyena at the base of the tree, walking away with the impala carcass.

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  Andy said the leopard must have been moving the impala and it fell into the waiting jaws of a hyena.  There wasn’t much left of the impala but skin and bones, but hyena’s specialize in bones.  He carried the impala a short distance away and began to eat.  We could hear his powerful jaws breaking the bones.

IMG_1337    Surprisingly, the leopard wasn’t ready to give up its prize and descended from the tree and began to stalk the hyena.

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  I was thinking this leopard was crazy as the hyena was the biggest I had ever seen and the leopard was quite small.  She slowly got closer and closer to the hyena but just laid down a short distance from the hyena hidden by the tall grass.  The hyena would occasionally look up but didn’t seem to know the leopard was following.

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  Every so often the hyena would get spooked by our vehicle moving into a better position for photos and carry the carcass another short distance away.  The leopard would follow and would find bits to eat in the place the hyena had last eaten.  Eventually, the hyena tired of being watched and carried the impala away.

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  As it was evening, the leopard walked off to hunt.  I didn’t get my “perfect” photo but it was great to see the interaction between these two animals (and I did get some pretty good photos).

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Joan
    May 18, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Great photos. What wonderful experiences you and your family have had.

  2. Lois
    May 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Looks like quite a few “perfect” photos! What an amazing trip you guys had.

  3. Bonnie Moeller
    May 19, 2013 at 12:50 am

    amazing photos

  4. Zambia MCC
    May 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Fantastic photos Jonathan!! Great experience to be able to get the hyena/leopard interaction and food contest! Kathy

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