SKUKUZA, South Africa, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- A South African game ranger captured footage of an unlikely friendship between a leopard and a baby impala.
Estiaan Houy, 31, a Jock Safari Lodge game ranger, said he captured an hour's worth of footage of the leopard and baby impala interacting at Kruger National Park.
Houy said the footage of the leopard playing gently with its would-be prey was unique. However, he said the leopard's intentions may not have been pure -- it may have been toying with the impala to see if its mother would return and make for a larger meal.
William Fox, senior project manager from Ingwe Leopard Research, said the young leopard may have been simply toying with the impala due to a lack of killing experience. He said it is likely the impala eventually became dinner for the big cat.