(2015/07/04) A leopard attacks an open vehicle in South Africa? Then got rolled over by the park vehicles in attempting to stop him from launching his attacks on the cars and visitors. In short, an old and sick leopard sadly suffered a complete unnatural death… Why?
Based on the different accounts of these sad events over the web it is said that:
1) “According to eyewitnesses, the guide was with about eight tourists on his vehicle and watching the leopard some two meters from it.”: 2 meters that’s roughly 2 yards. You do not herd an animal this way. You never get that close <period>: you don’t herd an animal for your own pleasure or greed, you keep your distance, you respect his territory. If true, that is completely irresponsible. If true again then this is actually harassment/abuse.
2) Also reading that the windows of the vehicles were open and yes the guide was also responsible for this: you make your “guests” listen or you turn back that vehicle… It might also be that this was an open vehicle altogether (as the video seems to show), in which case getting or staying so close to this animal (around 6.5 feet) was again a call for disaster. Then some would say that they could have been caught by surprise, in which case the driver should have put distance between his car and the leopard immediately. Then some again could say: he could not because then there is that number of cars on that park road at that very moment…
3) Take the time to watch the gruesome video in the reference section below, and you’ll see an insane number of vehicles as well on that road… There is literally no place to maneuver. Besides the obvious security issue, do we really think that it is ethical to perturb the wildlife in this park this way? After all, this is a wildlife park intended to protect wildlife – correct?
4) It is also said that the state of the leopard had been reported to Sanparks 6 days prior to the incident. News spread like a bush fire in a game or park facility. Guides always have an ear out to get the best sightings for their guests, and it is more than possible that this leopard was sought for as an easy photo opportunity. This is utterly disrespectful and harassing. It is not too hard to understand that a bunch of noisy cars filled with loud humans, roaming just where you are, trying to get as close as possible is extremely stressful and even more so when you are wounded therefore weak and possibly aggressive. Simply imagine yourself in such a situation. It is actually surprising that there are such a few number of events like this. So it is again possible that the whole event might have been avoided by leaving this leopard alone for the time being.
This leopard (no matter how emaciated and maybe aggressive) was simply under attack in the first place. And he paid with his life. There is no bad luck there: the fact that a big cat is possibly manic because of an injury is to be expected in the wild.
So based on what is currently on the net and that video (that leaves for sure no doubt that there were far too many vehicles in that spot), and again if true: Who was responsible for this death? Who has been irresponsible and criminal? The leopard?…
How about looking more closely into:
– the guide who has been viewed 2 meters away from this leopard in an ‘open’ vehicle?
– the park who does not keep their guides on a behavior and professionalism leash?
– and even the guests who are so disconnected with reality or ignorant that they might have thought that it was just a big cat being “gently” hustled and did not stop their guide for doing so?
– us maybe as well for being in general too complaisant about such events…
Time to introspect and learn once for all rather than contributing in far too many ways to their extinction…
Leopard attacks tour operator in Kruger (Africa Geographic)
Video (beware this video contains graphic material if you don’t think you can handle watching a leopard being rolled over by multiple vehicles): http://africageographic.com/blog/video-leopard-injured-by-vehicles-during-attack/
Safari guide injured in leopard attack (The Guardian)
British safari guide attacked by leopard in Kruger National Park in South Africa (The Telegraph)
Number of cars at the moment of the event: http://i1.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article5993650.ece/ALTERNATES/s1227b/PAY-leopard.jpg