Ranger Anjallee had an amazing sighting recently in Block 5 of Yala National Park, of three cubs stalking their prey. Here is her account of how the drama unfolded.
We watched in complete silence anticipating an attack from the female leopard as she crept closer and closer to her target – a spotted deer.
Her sibling, a male, carefully followed behind. She had set the stage for a perfect attack, gradually crawling towards her target and immediately laying low as she sensed the deer were getting restless. It was a tense 30 minutes as we all watched in silence not moving a muscle lest any sound would interrupt the hunt.
The moment seemed right to pounce, the deer were calm as they lay on the ground completely oblivious to the bringer of death that drew nearer to them, just a few more meters. But alas! The inexperienced male was too eager and pounced too soon scaring off its prey, leading to a failed hunt.
His sister seemed startled by his sudden impulsive leap and he continued on bounding after the deer but they were too fast and evaded his attack. He continued chasing after them into the forest and came out onto the main road. He clearly had no luck and decided to sit on a fallen tree and sulk for a bit. Needless to say cameras clicked rapidly as we all took a moment to photograph a young prince in the making. Although the male cub seems to lack the patience his sister possesses to strike at the right moment, we have no doubt he will soon enjoy his own successful kill.
The hunt may have failed but it was a spectacular way to end a safari. I’m glad to have been able to witness such a moment and hope to follow these cubs on their journey to adulthood.
Until next time!
Ranger at Wild Coast Lodge