We have a new post for the blog today and Graeme Mitchley is back to tell us about a sighting he had in the Kruger of when a Leopard had caught a porcupine but he was forced to move higher into the branches of a tree because of hyenas.
Graeme elaborated on the sighting for us.
“While I was waiting at Crocodile Bridge gate early one Friday morning, I overheard the honorary ranger explaining to the gentleman parked in front that a leopard had killed a porcupine the day before on the H10 near the S32 Orpen Dam Road.
“Now we all know that it quite some distance from Crocodile Bridge to the H10 (roughly 35km) so I had no intention of heading straight up there. I had an awesome morning, did the popular S28 before heading up to Lower Sabie where I grabbed a hot chocolate and toasted sandwich.
“I then headed along the H4-1 towards the S79, a well known road for leopard and lion. I didn’t see any leopard but saw two different prides of lions with cubs. Being the dry season, there were also nice herds of elephants coming down to the water. After a while I headed back to Sunset Dam where I sat for an hour watching a baby hippo, crocodiles and lots of different bird species.
“After stopping off at Lower Sabie for a comfort break I decided to head up my favorite road in the park, the H10. I just love this road, not only for the abundant wildlife, but the peace and quiet and the open plains. Heading up to see the leopard didn’t even cross my mind. In my mind there was no way he would still be around after making a kill the day before.
“At 11:45am I arrived at the leopard sighting, there were a lot of cars. A kind gentleman pointed out the leopard to me, he was lying in thick grass behind dead branches. I could see his tail flick and his ear twitch. His kill was now in a very flimsy tree. I decided to wait it out. Lots of people came and went, it was hot, people got bored. Overall I was at this sighting for four hours. For three hours all I could see was an ear and a tail. Every now and then he rolled over and stretched.
“The tree with the kill was close to the road so I didn’t think he would come out. There were too many cars and too much noise. Low and behold after three hours, Mr Porcupine Slayer came out and put on a show I will never forget. He walked straight towards me and walked over to the kill. He jumped up and began to eat. It was obvious that eating a porcupine is no easy matter. With every bite came a quill. The meat must be worth the risk I reckoned.
After about 20 minutes, two hyenas came along which forced the leopard even higher into the tree and actually on to his kill which was even more uncomfortable. He growled at them but he was more interested in eating his kill. There was no way he was sharing! The poor hyenas only received a few quill darts aimed in their direction. The hyenas made me laugh as they lay down and decided to also wait it out.
“After photographing and filming this scene for close to an hour, it was time for me to head back to camp. Unfortunately I didn’t see how the scene played out but I had been given a show of a lifetime. The Leopard Gods had looked out for me on this day.”
Watch the video here:
We would like to thank Graeme for sharing this story and footage with us, make sure to follow his social media for great daily content.
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You can read Graeme previous post here, he detailed the story of when the Kruger white lion was chased by other male lions.
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