When you go to a restaurant in Hollywood, you might bump into a celebrity or two. But – when you go to a restaurant in South Africa, you might bump into a leopard or two…
Watch the incredibly close moment caught on camera of a leopard that entered a lodge’s restaurant full of guests trying to hunt a bushbuck.
This sighting was filmed at Singita Ebony Lodge a few days ago by 39-year old, Innovation Edge philanthropy fund’ global partnerships lead, Erika Wiese, and her friend Marie-Louise Kruger. We’d also like to thank Erika for pledging all proceeds from this video towards leopard conservation through the Singita Lowveld Conservation Trust.
Erika Wiese tells us the story of how this sighting played out:
“Myself, my uncle and two of my closest friends continued chatting on the deck after breakfast. The rest of the family had gone to their rooms to rest before the afternoon game drive. Vervet monkeys are one of the best ways to know there is a predator around, by listening to their alarm calls. This particular morning, vervet monkeys alerted us to the presence of a leopard that made its way onto the upper deck, crossed the lower deck and then made its way from the lodge to remain undetected.”
“The leopard was seen stalking a bushbuck in the riverbed in front of the lodge earlier. Singita’s staff is well-trained to deal with encounters of this kind and have strict safety protocols in place to ensure the safety of both staff and guests in these situations, we were therefore able to remain calm, silent and in awe of the beautiful creature that was so close to us.”
“We felt complete awe, reverence, respect and gratitude. What a rare experience to have such an encounter with a leopard. The situation proved that wildlife and people can live and interact with each other in harmony and respect.” It was as if the leopard knew that for this instance, it was in the human’s territory.
“The sighting ended with the leopard strolling calmly away from the deck area and out of sight towards the bushbuck who you can hear alarm calling at the end.”
“This was extremely rare for me and all I can say to someone in that situation is to stay calm and respectful.”