strange behaviors

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  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

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Don’t Look Now, It’s A Leopard Dive-Bomb

Posted by Richard Conniff on September 25, 2014

I was in the Okavango Delta recently and saw a leopard gracefully climb down a tree, at leisure. 

But this photo and video sequence from the same vicinity is incredible.  It’s by Yasmin Tajik of Shalimar Studios (which is–go figure–a Las Vegas wedding photo outfit; I bet they catch every punch when a cat fight breaks out on the dance floor).

First the video, then the stills, with Tajik’s narration.

[UPDATE: ON REQUEST FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER, THE PHOTOS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE AND I HAVE REMOVED THEM. YOU CAN STILL ENJOY THE VIDEO AND OF COURSE CHECK OUT YASMIN’S WEBSITE. With apologies to all.]

14 Responses to “Don’t Look Now, It’s A Leopard Dive-Bomb”

  1. […] leopards were geniuses at disguise. But this one seems to think it is a Tomahawk cruise missile strangebehaviors.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/don… […]

  2. It is indeed a spectacular dive and I’m glad it was captured. I’m less thrilled with repeatedly driving after the leopard dragging her kill away, clearly disturbing her.

  3. […] photo/video of a leopard dive-bombing an impala from a tree. From Richard […]

  4. Peter Apps said

    0:29 into the video clearly shows that the leopard is stressed by the vehicle being driven too close too quickly. Depending on the location taking the vehicle off road may have been illegal.

    • Pattie Litton said

      I agree. The initial video capture was a gift of beautiful coincidence. The subsequent chase in the vehicle makes me ill. There are degrees of intrusion and this crosses the line.

  5. Yes, the animal is somewhat stressed. But leopards in the Okavango Delta are highly habituated to game drive vehicles. I was in one such vehicle there in August watching from a distance of perhaps 30 feet as a leopard worked on an impala, and she was utterly indifferent to our presence. Later saw the same leopard come out of hiding and climb down from a tree even though she clearly knew we were there. There are plenty of good arguments against habituating animals, but the tourism it makes possible helps keep the Okavango Delta wild.

    • Peter Apps said

      Hi Richard

      The Okavango leopards are quite well habituated to vehicle, as long as the vehicles are driven sensibly. In this instance the approach was way to fast , and way too close and the leopard is clearly stressed as a result. A slower approach, pausing along the way would probably have yielded even better photos.

      Depending on where this took place, the off-road driving may well have been illegal.

  6. […] photo/video of a leopard dive-bombing an impala from a tree. From Richard […]

  7. […] […]

  8. […] Video catches leopard’s incredible stealth dive-bomb attack. (Strange Behaviors) […]

  9. […] from above. Dive bomb leopard. Wow! Amazing footage, shared by Richard Conniff. View of the […]

  10. […] I can imagine this photo of a leopard making a dramatic kill being used on the front of a parody Christmas card. Via this article. […]

  11. Indeed Leopard are very wise and fast animals. Seeing how it jump from the tree and catches the Impala. It amazed me that you are brave enough to come closer to the Leopard and took a video and photos of it. Anyways to have our mind cleared up from this dramatic killing you might want to read this article http://www.exploretalent.com/articles/20-most-unique-animals-on-the-planet/ wherein you will know that there are unique animals on the planet that we didn’t know existed.

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