WATCH | Impala has no chance as leopard stalks it from tree branches

Leopards are infamous for the cunning and creative methods they use to stalk their prey

06 November 2018 - 15:32 By timeslive

Have you ever seen a leopard disappearing into a tree like a chameleon, completely undetected by hoards of grazing animals?

Well this one did.

A Ruaha National Park leopard waited patiently in a tree biding his time as he waited for his prey to walk to him.

The unsuspecting impala, that was too close for comfort, was promptly nabbed by the predator that seemed to appear out of thin air.  

Phil Hankinson who filmed the spectacle during a game drive said: "I’m still in awe really of the spectacle which unfolded. The cat started stalking slowly moving toward the trunk and the impala was unaware of its impending doom. Then in a matter of a second of two he pounced."

Other animals that escaped with their lives were as shocked as the impala, but also seemed interested in what was unfolding in front of them. "The baboons started screaming as some of them wanted a piece of the action and the impala was sent careering by the full force and weight of the attached cat. Dust was flying everywhere," Hankinson said. 

"The noise from the baboons was one of a craze and then there was silence. We watched as a group, stunned and in silence." 

"What we had witnessed our guide advised was something which he would see once every five years. And I had it on video."

The leopard had started to suffocate the impala by latching its jaws over its mouth. It took about 30 more minutes for it to take its last breath, said Hankinson.