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Monday, March 29, 2010

Leopard's Leap - Amazing Leopard Kill, Botswana

Amiee and Craig Pollack captured this amazing footage in Botswana. A leopard nonchalantly climbs a tree. It's hard to distinguish a plan emerging, but it clearly has something on it's mind. After surveying the branches above it from a fork, there's a moment's hesitation. It looks like it might jump but it changes it's mind opting for more height. Then it's all action....

It's a brazen approach. I find it incredible that it seems so unhurried. We realize after the fact that it had spotted it's prey in the other tree already and was using a very creative outflanking maneuvre. If it had attacked from below the animal would've just retreated to the treetops out of reach. Or run circles around the truck, hiding behind it. As for accurately crashing through another tree, making the kill, and landing safely on the ground.....priceless.

The prey:
I'm not sure what the unfortunate kill was. Possibly a Tree/Bush Squirrel; Paraxerus cepapi. It is known as the mopane squirrel becuase it is common in mopane woodlands. Interestingly they retreat up trees specifically for safety and position the trunk between themselves and the hunter. It seems they need a new tactic to avoid being a quick snack for leopards.

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