On one of my afternoon drives I decided to look for a leopard. My tracker, Alfred, and I went to an area where a kill had been made by a leopard. We thought that he might have gone back as there was still plenty of meat left. Unfortunately, when we got to that area he had moved his kill off to a different area. We tried to follow his tracks but lost them.

We heard on the radio that there was a leopard sighting quite some distance away so we started making our way. When we got there they had lost visual – we stayed in the area to try and relocate the big male leopard.

After about 10 minutes, we found him lying in the open on a termite mound. A beautiful sighting – he was relaxed and cleaning himself. Eventually he moved off and we followed him, trying to keep his visual for the next vehicle.

We struggled to find him so we switched the car off to listen. We heard the screeching screams of a couple of warthogs coming from our left. Next, a large female warthog came running towards the vehicle and stopped to look where the danger had gone.

Suddenly, we hear another scream, look towards that direction and see the male leopard chasing the helpless warthog. We follow to try and locate him once again. We found him on the warthog, holding his throat waiting for his successful meal to give in.

Unexpectedly, two warthogs ran towards the leopard and started fighting the leopard off their fellow warthog. To our amazement, they succeeded in getting the big male leopard to back away from his kill. Unfortunately, the warthog was so badly injured that his chances of survival were very poor. The leopard stayed in the area waiting for his meal to give up so that he can finally have a peaceful meal.

This comes to show us that if warthogs have the determination and the right numbers, that they can be strong enough to fight off a large, strong leopard that is in his prime. Something that most people think is the impossible.

Kim Pretorius

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