Lonely Planet Writer

Leopard lies down with baby impala in Kruger NP

A lucky few visitors to Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which sits on an unfenced border to Kruger National Park in South Africa, witnessed a very unusual sighting of an adult female leopard nurturing a baby impala.

A leopard in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
A leopard in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Image by David Berkowitz / CC BY 2.0

The impala had become separated from its herd when the big cat originally gave chase. But instead of devouring the tiny calf, the leopard proceeded to play a game of cat and mouse, eventually lying down next to it beneath a tree. While sharing the same patch of shade the two animals took turns nudging each other with their heads, with the leopard even seemingly licking the young impala affectionately. One of the rangers on the scene noted that it’s also possible that the mature female cat may have been slowly trying to lure her cubs to the impala to teach them how to hunt. Kruger sightings posted a video of the incident on YouTube. Read more: news24.com