Safari tours can spend hours upon hours just to see a leopard at Kruger National Park, so the tourists guided by Johann Jurgens were treated to a special sighting when they stumbled upon a female leopard being followed by a male leopard.
And the odd behavior by the male leopard made it all the more special.
The "once-in-a-lifetime encounter" occurred on a road located at one of the busiest junctions in the southern part of the famous park in South Africa, but fortunately their vehicle was the only one on the road.
The leopard took notice and wandered over to check it out, proceeding to do something Jurgens had never seen before:
"I felt something bumping the car and that’s when we realized that the leopard was actually biting the tire," Jurgens told Latest Sightings. "After reversing away from the animal to gain some distance, he turned his attention back to the female and started walking towards her where she was laying in the grass about 30 meters off the road as if nothing happened.
"After many years working and living in the bush, I’ve never seen leopard behavior of this nature and it just made me recall how unpredictable wild animals can be.
"Just shows you that when in the park, always expect the unexpected.
"It was a definite once-in-a-lifetime encounter, I mean, we all drive around for hours and hours hoping to just catch a glimpse of a leopard, but having one come walking right up to you and giving your car tire a good old bite is unheard of."
Jurgens said the “only logical explanation” was that there was another male on the road about 45 minutes prior to this encounter and that they “drove through that male’s urine and the leopard that bit the tire could smell the other male’s scent,” sparking the reaction, especially since he was with a female.
After the encounter, Jurgens drove a couple miles away and pulled over to assess the damage. By the time he stopped the tire was totally deflated. He discovered seven puncture marks in the tire.
"Well, clearly the Kruger Park leopards don't like Nissans!" Jurgens told Latest Sightings.
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