Martha van Rensburg and others on a nature tour in South Africa spotted the leopard in the shadows on one side of the road, and several nervous-looking impalas on the other. They sensed that a wild scene was going to play out and, sure enough, as soon as the impalas began to run across the road, the leopard struck with savage quickness. The video, shot from a GoPro camera Van Rensburg had attached to their vehicle, is not for the faint of heart. But it has gone viral, garnering nearly 300,000 views in 48 hours. (Viewers can spot the leopard on the left side of the screen, before the attack.)
“It happened so fast but I was lucky enough to get this video and a still photo of the leopard and impala in the air,” said Van Rensburg, who was with her husband, Marius van Tonder, and another guest, Ian Weatherburn, on a predator safari at MalaMala Game Reserve.
These types of moments are rarely captured during photographic tours simply because of the time generally required to witness a predation event.
The group, after spotting the animals, waited silently for 30 minutes before something spooked the impalas, causing them to charge across the road.
Weatherburn guessed that a sudden gust of wind spooked the impalas, which were already skittish.
“They unfortunately had not detected the leopard’s presence at all during this time,” he said, adding that the leopard had even dozed briefly while watching the herd.
“But of course the leopard was giving 100 percent attention when the moment came, and the impalas ran straight into him,” Weatherburn said. “It was over in a flash.”
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