WATCH | Sneaky hyena frightens grooming leopard

02 September 2020 - 14:25 By Unathi Nkanjeni

It’s not often that a leopard gets caught by surprise...

An epic scene played out in Sabi Sands in Kruger National Park when a sneaky hyena tried its luck and gave a grooming leopard a  big fright.

The rather comical footage was captured by Jason Joubert and shared on Latest Sightings' YouTube page.

“We were not even 100m from the lodge when we came across a male leopard sleeping in a mitre drain. I stopped and we sat and watched for about five minutes while the guests had their cameras out to capture the sighting for their own souvenirs,” said the 33-year-old field guide.

Joubert said the leopard was enjoying a grooming session before being caught by surprise by a passing hyena.

“We watched and waited as the hyena carefully approached the leopard, taking a step closer and closer each time and the leopard seemingly oblivious to its sniffing visitor while it groomed its paws,” he said. “We definitely did not expect the hyena to walk straight up to the leopard and we thought that the leopard would have sensed the hyena right away, but this was not the case.”

But the dozy leopard finally got with the programme.

“The leopard slowly got up, almost still in a sleepy daze, and realised with a jolt that the hyena was now almost face-to-face. It jolted up in defence and jumped back, snarling and growling, warning the hyena to keep a distance.

“This was a comical scene, everyone on the vehicle had a good chuckle. After a few seconds, the hyena carried on walking off as there was no reason for him to hang around any longer. There was no potential meal to scavenge for, and so the leopard went back to grooming,” said Joubert.