THE SHOCKING and never-before-seen moment a leopard found an active lion den and sprinted off with a lion cub!
This once-in-a-lifetime video was filmed by Canadian lawyer Scott Hyman (54) – @scotthymanphoto on Instagram in Ruaha National Park.
In one image, a 160-pound leopard can be seen up a tree carrying a visibly frightened three-week old lion cub in its mouth.
In another picture, the leopard is seen with blood around its mouth after devouring the cubs head.
Hyman used a Fuji XT-3 camera to click these amazing pictures from 10-15 metres away.
Scott tells the story: “During my safari, I came across a male adult leopard on the road and started following it for well over an hour as it meandered until it suddenly stopped,” said Hyman.
“The leopard suddenly leapt into the dense brush and seconds later sprang out with a lion cub in its maw.
“It sprinted down the road, cub squirming, and up a nearby tree around the bend by the side of the road.
“It held the lion cub firmly in its jaws, and bit into the cub’s skull, ending the cub’s life, and proceeded to devour it piece by piece, headfirst, gradually working its way down the carcass.
“The leopard dropped one of the tiny legs as it ate, but continued devouring the lion cub, bones and all.”
Leopards are opportunistic feeders, they eat a variety of animals and usually hunt on the ground or in trees.
They are climbers, leopards spend most of the daytime hours resting under sheltered rocks or in shady places among tree branches.
“At first I was shocked by what I saw, but quickly accepted it as part of nature,” says Hyman.
“While my heart broke for the cub, I was excited and thrilled to have witnessed such a rare event, a once in a lifetime wildlife viewing.”