Zebra attack leopards
I was recently treated to one of the most phenomenal sightings of my career. We were following Rockfig Jnr and her cub late one afternoon; Civilised had just pulled out of the sighting and had moved a short distance off when he spooked a herd of wildebeest and zebra that took off in our general direction. Both leopards stopped and had a closer look at the group as they trotted past our position. The leopards carried on their way walking parallel to the zebra but hadn’t shown much interest in their presence.
The zebra then spotted the two leopards and the stallion immediately trotted forward to intersect them. At first I thought he was merely coming in for a closer look but once he was around 20m off he gave both leopards a full-on charge. The leopards had to take evasive action and managed to escape up a nearby tree. The stallion then set up camp below the tree shaking his head and baring his teeth every few minutes.
The cub positioned herself well up the tree while the mother below hissed and showed her displeasure at the stallion. After a while the zebra turned and walked away a little, the mother leopard took this opportunity to jump out the tree and trot off. Well the stallion on seeing her jump out the tree then took off after her at full tilt, absolutely set on causing her harm! Now a full-grown stallion, weighing in at roughly 300-350kg, with sharp teeth and deadly kicking hooves, is a formidable adversary and the leopard had to take drastic action as the zebra closed the gap on her. With no large trees in the area she managed to launch herself into a small sour plum tree, which only stood around 2m tall.
The zebra crashed into the tree just below her in a cloud of dust. This left the female leopard in a rather awkward position as the zebra strode around the tree very proud of his accomplishment. Once he realised he was not going to be able to reach the female he backed off and went back to stake out the tree were the cub was still stranded and calling for her mother. We left at this point with the standoff still in effect; we returned the following day and found both leopards busy on a large impala kill, both none the worse for wear. The victorious zebra stallion was nowhere to be seen. This particular stallion had a large scar on his left rump from what looks to be a failed lion hunt, so maybe this was his opportunity to get his own back on the predators. He really looked to be carrying a grudge. A fantastic sighting shared by many.