Elaine De Klerk recently shared with LatestSightings.com her remarkable experience at Sweni Hide, where she witnessed this rare sighting unfold before her eyes.
“Our chosen route for the afternoon game drive was all the way down the H6 tar road and to the Sweni hide. When we arrived at the hide, I thought I heard what sounded like a leopard to me. My husband and I decided to investigate, and low and behold, there it was on the opposite end of the river, a leopard.”
“It was staring intently at a small herd of waterbuck that were grazing on the riverbank. I could just sense it—the leopard was going for the kill. The leopard quickly disappeared into the thick river reeds; he was stalking! In our attempt to follow the leopard, we found ourselves on the low-level bridge that crosses the Sweni River. The leopard, already in stalk mode, was only seconds away from a kill!”
“And just like that, success! The leopard was able to catch a baby waterbuck, and we had front-row seats. Little did we know that this was not the end of our incredible sighting. As the waterbuck succumbed to the leopard’s death hold, three crocodiles appeared from the river.”
“One of the crocodiles was able to bite onto the backend of the waterbuck, and it tugged. The leopard, still with a firm hold on the buck’s neck, did not let go. The battle continued for close to an hour. It was a tug of war.”
Leopard fights crocodile over buck that it just caught!
“With the crocodiles not giving up and the leopard still holding on, the little buck’s body could not hold up any longer. It split into two pieces, and the three crocodiles swam off with their stolen prize. Doing the deathroll, they finished off their piece in a matter of minutes.”
Crocodiles are fascinating creatures. One of their most remarkable behaviors is the death roll. When a crocodile catches its prey, it uses its powerful jaws to grab hold. Then, with a quick twist of its body, it starts the death roll. During this maneuver, the crocodile spins rapidly, using its strong muscles to disorient and overpower its prey. This behavior helps the crocodile tear apart its meal and also makes it difficult for the prey to escape.
“As for the leopard, he was able to salvage half of the carcass and began feeding right there, before any other scavengers came in to steal more of his meal.”