Nottens

On our first safari in South Africa we were motoring around in the Range Rover, looking for whatever wildlife we could find.  As we were rumbling along on some trails, we scared a small deer-like animal from the underbrush and it fled in terror of our vehicle.  As we approached the area where the small animal was hiding in the brush, we saw a leopard who had been lying in wait.

Apparently we interrupted its dinner plans.

So, an adult female leopard (named Nottens) gave up her hiding place and set out in search of other potential food. We followed her through the brush, and our guide recognized she was heading towards and opening where a large group of impalas (more deer-like animals) were milling about.

Nottens crouched low in the grass and waited for her chance.

About this time the impalas split into two groups. A few went a direction away from the hiding leopard, while the majority blindly wandered directly into the leopard’s vicinity.  With lightning speed the leopard jumped into action, scattering the impalas.  With one of it’s giant paws, the leopard grabbed a fleeing impala from mid-air and dragged it to the ground.  Dinner time.

The above picture is of Nottens, as she moved from her original hiding spot to her new location near the impalas.

August 2011. (3808)

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