A wildlife photographer caught a great cat napping. And it led to an encounter that Leopards would rather avoid.
You’d think the leopard would have noticed the lion and registered the threat before he put his head down.
The guide certainly saw them both. (And judging by the angle, he was really close, too!)
Matthew Poole — the professional guide who filmed it — called it ‘the rarest sighting of his career’.
The lion stood still, eying his rival at first contact.
The leopard paid him no heed. Either he didn’t notice him or didn’t think he’d be a problem.
The leopard put his head down.
A very dangerous mistake to make.
The lion — they average more than twice the weight of a leopard — approached slowly.
Not a good time to be caught napping!
Imagine waking up to see a lion in mid leap with bared teeth coming at you?
Be sure to have the audio up when you see how this played out.
To hear them, you know they mean business!
There was a lot of excitement and nerves building as the male lion started to stalk from across the Sand River.
As the lion got closer to the leopard, Matthew realized that if he caught the leopard, then he would potentially kill it. “At this point I started to warn my guests about what could happen.” But, before they knew it, the lion was right below the sleeping leopard!
Fortunately, the lion didn’t kill the leopard, but the sneaky lion scared the living daylights out of the leopard.
“The lion drove the leopard into a Leadwood tree on the river bank and then had a drink and moved off out of the area”.
Credit: Matthew Poole (Check out his Instagram if you like his work!)