Wild Life

Baby Buck Headbutts Leopard Persistently To Try Escape




 

Baby Buck Headbutts Leopard Persistently To Try Escape

A cute baby nyala goes head to head with an apex predator the leopard in an effort to escape!

Royal Malewane game ranger and safari guide, Andre Fourie, shared this incredibly cute yet extremely heart-wrenching video with us and told Latestsighting.com about his rare experience:

“It was our standard afternoon game drive here at Royal Malewane – Greater Kruger National Park, when Juan Pinto, Director and guide at the lodge, called in that he had fresh leopard tracks close to Royal Malewane Lodge. He proceeded to follow the tracks and found the leopard! He asked me to join him at the sighting which I was delighted to do. The male leopard (named Mondzo) was busy with a territorial patrol after the good rains we had recently.”

Baby Buck Headbutts Leopard Persistently To Try Escape

“The leopard was on the move and it was difficult keeping up with it. I asked another guide (Rudi Huldshof) to come into the area to help us keep up with the cat. We lost all visual of the leopard for a while and then Rudi announced that he found it again. When we got to the spot where the leopard was, we saw that he flushed out a baby Nyala. While the Nyala’s only instinct was to run, it was not nearly fast enough to actually get away. The leopard just kept trotting behind it almost as if it found it amusing.”

“As soon as the nyala realised it wasn’t going to get away, it turned to the leopard and approached it slowly almost as if seeking comfort in its keeper. This did not last very long though. The nyala quickly came to terms that the leopard was a predator and instead turned from flight, to fight mode! As the leopard groomed itself in preparation for dinner, the little nyala walked toward the leopard and then suddenly launched at it, ramming it with its head repeatedly!”

“Because there was no enticement, the leopards’ instinct to kill also vanished. The 2 then settled down together for a while. He then walked off with the baby nyala following him. The interaction kept us busy for a good hour after which we had to get back to camp. From what I heard from the other rangers, the interaction still continued for another 40 minutes before the leopard swiftly ate the nyala and moved off.”

Baby Buck Headbutts Leopard Persistently To Try Escape

“Working as a guide, we tend to refrain from getting emotionally involved with predator and prey interactions. However, my guests found this sighting incredibly interesting. They mentioned that this was a once-in-a-lifetime sighting that they had never seen or even heard of before. The guests are well-travelled people and go on safari trips every year. One of the guests even hoped that the baby nyala would escape as soon as the leopard started losing interest, but we know that nature and wildlife do not have the same emotions we have as human beings. If the nyala had by some miracle escaped and survived and made it back to its mother, she would have rejected him and cast him out anyway, because he smelt too much like a predator. So the baby might have not survived either way.”

“I’ve seen similar things happen on television, but this was an absolute first for me to experience first-hand. When it comes to an interaction like this, enjoy the rarity of the action that is unfolding. From a practical, ethical, and physical perspective – give enough space where nor the predator nor the prey have an advantage or disadvantage. Also, respect other people who will be keen to view something like this.”



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