Its rare to encounter a leopard in the Cape Fold mountains. Even rarer to see one during the day. And rarer still to see one running for its life.
It was 10am, I was up in the mountains recording behavior of a family of Cape Rockjumpers. I'd been up since 3am. So I had to rub my eyes when suddenly on the opposite slope of the valley a sleek figure trotted up from out of the stream bed. It didn't take long for it to crest the rocky ridge – as it was trotting, basically going as fast as one can go through the low cover of spikey branches and loose rocks. Now and again it would stop to look over its shoulder. It looked all in the world like it was being pursued. And what in these parts could be chasing a leopard except a bigger leopard!
I waited with anticipation to see what would appear. And imagine my surprise when instead of a monster leopard or pack of howling hounds, who should appear but Christina – our volunteer out from Aberdeen helping with the bird study – who is very slight of frame and can't weigh more than 50kg! She must rank among the least scary people I know – but apparently leopards don't think so.
|Run for your life!|
|Is she still after me?|
|She's so scary - gotta keep going!|
|Help! she's still after me!|
|Getting tired now... hope I'll have enough energy to get away...|
|Who could have the leopard on the run? Why, its oh so scary Christina|
The Cape Rockjumpers didn't seem to notice anything