Stories from the Masai Mara: Leopard Kill in Action

Another day, another story from the Masai Mara, where Nik Simpson spent a very productive few days on safari at Ilkeliani Camp and Porini Lion Camp before heading off to the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. We’ve made the most of his fantastic photos, sharing them in various stories on our blog and social media platforms, and today brings yet another outstanding moment in the wild to life. A big male leopard – spotted enjoying the after effects of good meal while he relaxed in a tree – was brought to attention when he spotted a good opportunity to feast once again! A lone wildebeest was spotted nearby and this male leopard wasn’t going to let an easy meal pass him by.

Leopard spots his prey © Nik Simpson

This is Nik’s story of the event:

“We were on our way to see if we could see a wildebeest crossing on the Talek River when we came across this large leopard in a tree. He had obviously fed well as you can see the remains of his last kill hanging from the tree behind him. Almost immediately he spotted a lone wildebeest from his tree, 50-100 yards away, and he showed immediate interest despite his obviously full belly. His interest piqued by the wildebeest, he started to come down from the tree. A quick descent from the tree and he was ready to get his breakfast.

Leopard preparing for his descent © Nik Simpson

Leopard stalking wildebeest © Nik Wildebeest

The wildebeest seemed to be completely oblivious. I imagine he was wondering why all the safari trucks were around him, thinking “they like me, they like me”!

It was over in seconds: the leopard pounced and quickly got a grip of the wildebeest’s throat. Less than a minute later, it was all over. The leopard obviously wanted to eat his breakfast in peace, so he started dragging his kill off into the bush. He was a large, powerful leopard; and the wildebeest barely had a chance to put up a fight. This was the last we saw of him as he dragged his kill out of sight.”

Leopard makes a quick meal of the wildebeest © Nik Simpson

Leopard's incredible power gave the young wildebeest no chance © Nik Simpson

Leopard makes the kill in less than a minute © Nik Simpson

Leopard takes a rest from dragging his freshly killed wildebeest © Nik Simpson

Leopard starts to drag his kill away from the scene © Nik Simpson

Author: Chloe Cooper

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