Malaika Narrowly Misses Her Prey After Leaping from a Tree
We headed out on our morning safari from Kaingo Camp. It was not long before the sound of some chattering squirrels in distress caught my ears. I used my binoculars and looked towards the alarm call when I spotted a mature leopardess in a Sausage Tree. We made our way closer with the vehicle to discover it was our dominant leopardess of the area, Malaika.
She was sleeping soundly without a care in the world. After ten minutes or so she woke up as something had caught her attention. She is generally extremely relaxed and does not mind visitors watching her, however today she let off a low growl while looking into the distance. I looked over my shoulder and realised why she was acting slightly different today. There was a good sized herd of impala making their way towards the tree where they wanted to feed. The succulent flowers that had fallen to the ground are a delicacy for the Impala. Malaikas low growl was as if to say ‘move your car further back so the impalas will approach without caution’. So thats exactly what we did.
We backed off a nice distance which allowed the impala to approach without any worry, not knowing that there was impending danger waiting in the tree. The impala started to feed on the fallen flowers directly under the tree and Malaika waited patiently for the correct opportunity. After about 15 minutes of waiting the impala slowly started to drift away and Malaika decided it was now or never.
Malaika launched her attack, jumping from her perch and flying through the air towards a single impala. While she was in mid flight the impala saw the leopardess for the first time and scrambled to get away. Malaika landed within 1 meter of her target who was already running away. After touching down to the ground she pounced again with outstretched claws in an attempt to grab onto the rump of her prey. The impala made a sharp turn and Malaikas paws glided over the impala without being able to get a firm grip. This is without a doubt the closest this impala has come to being caught and managed to narrowly escape with its life.
After the dust settled and the impala were all a safe distance away alarm calling, Malaika sauntered off to try her luck elsewhere.
Watch the video below of the moment Malaika launched her attack