Normally, when an impala stumbles into the path of a predator, such as a leopard, it immediately goes into escape mode and does everything possible—mostly, a quick dash from the scene—to avoid becoming a meal.
This young impala at Kruger National Park in South Africa took a far different approach when it encountered a leopard. The impala befriended the leopard.
Game ranger Estiaan Houy was on safari with some British and American guests when they happened upon the bizarre scene and captured part of it on film, as reported by Barcroft TV in this YouTube post entitled “Leopard Befriends Impala: Unusual Predator-Prey Interaction Caught on Camera”:
The young impala was obviously lacking in predator avoidance. Running away as quickly as possible is Lesson No. 1, unless there is a car available to jump into as this impala opted for while escaping two hungry cheetahs at the same Kruger National Park.
In this current case, the young impala and leopard played together for an hour before the predator got bored and walked into the brush, followed by the prey.
It is unknown what eventually happened, but one could probably guess the outcome when the dinner bell rang.
Will Fox, a leopard researcher, told Barcroft TV that as much as it would be nice to think a predator and prey could become buddies, the instances of vegetarian leopards are nonexistent. So the end result is very likely to have not ended well for the impala.
Unless it smartened up and found a car to jump into.
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