That is the sad story of a young male leopard cub, which, at three and a half months old, bounded with gay abandon into a deadly patch of Buffalo grass.
The female leopard; the mother of two cubs, was moving her cubs along a dry river bed late in the morning. It was a good time to move the cubs, because the sun was scorching anything and everything that moved out the relatively cool shade, nullifying most big cat movement for the rest of the day.
The two cubs scurried around their mother, taking interest in anything that moved. They stalked, pounced and mauled anything that stood still long enough, often loosing their battles to butterflies whipping away on their colourful wings and winning against blades of grass that dangled over the pathway. The female kept a watchful eye on the cubs, softly calling them back to the pathway every now and again. She would stop at regular intervals, sniffing the air, using every tool at her disposal to navigate Africa’s daily gauntlet.
The young male cub pushed on ahead, and followed his nose into the Buffalo grass. He stumbled straight into three lionesses which were resting in the shade.
It was a panicked few seconds.
It resulted in the instant death of the young male cub, which stood no chance against the 150kg lioness. The female and the other cub managed to scramble away to safety.
I had found the young trio only two days before the incident, and managed to capture some images of the young male cub.
It isn’t always easy understanding or accepting the cruel reality of nature. The system is flawless however, and left untouched, maintains the equilibrium that is the eternal struggle.