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African Leopard First Plays With Newborn Antelope, Then Kills

Durban, Apr 18:  A Safari guide in South Africa has captured the heart-wrenching encounter between a leopard and a newborn antelope. The leopard was lying in Sabi Sand Game Reserve, when a newborn antelope (steenbok)
african leopard first plays with newborn antelope...
PTI April 18, 2012 14:50 IST
Durban, Apr 18:  A Safari guide in South Africa has captured the heart-wrenching encounter between a leopard and a newborn antelope.

The leopard was lying in Sabi Sand Game Reserve, when a newborn antelope (steenbok) approached the big cat and played with it for nearly 45 minutes, unaware of the impending threat.

The newborn even tried to suckle milk from it, but by then the big cat decided to call of the game.



In a flash, the leopard killed the newborn.  The antelope had ventured out into the brush after being hidden in a nearby bush by its terrified mother, who was powerless to intervene.

Safari guide, Marius Croetzee, 30, from Durban, was travelling by Land Rover he and his clients witnessed nature at its most heart-wrenching from only six yards away.

Marius said: ‘I got a call over the radio that a female leopard were located close to the lodge and that she was busy stalking.



‘The mother stashed the lamb in thick scrub while feeding nearby, when it was caught she ran away for her own safety.

‘It is not uncommon for a leopard to make more than one kills if the opportunity presents itself.

‘Upon arriving at the scene I witnessed the leopard sitting with the steenbok in her paws. The lamb was new born and completely oblivious to the danger it was in.



‘It had no fear, and at one stage even tried to suckle from the female leopard. This was a first for me in and in more than 12 years of safari guiding I have not seen it again.

‘People were absolutely amazed and felt sad, but they realised that this is nature in its rawest form.'
 

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