Leopard's bite punctures car tire at South African park

By Ben Hooper  |  Aug. 23, 2017 at 2:42 PM
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Aug. 23 (UPI) -- A safari tour guide in South Africa shared video of a territorial leopard biting and puncturing a tire on his safari vehicle.

Johann Jurges, director of South African Bookings, said he was taking a group of Chinese tourists on a drive around the Pretoriuskop area of Kruger National Park when they spotted a female leopard in the road near Klipspringer Koppies.

Jurges' video of the encounter was posted to YouTube by Kruger Sightings.

"We were out on an early morning game drive with Chinese visitors when we spotted a female leopard on the road," Jurges said. "As we slowly approached, we noticed a male leopard following her onto the road in close quarters. The female proceeded to cross the road and the male started walking straight up to our vehicle."

Jurges said he lost sight of the leopard for a few moments until he felt the impact from the big cat biting one of the tires on his Nissan.

The tour guide was able to find the leopard with his camera in time to record the animal puncturing the tire with its teeth.

"After reversing away from the animal to gain some distance he turned his attention back to the female and started walking towards her where she was laying in the grass," Jurges said.

Jurges said the encounter was rare and a bit baffling.

"It was a definite once in a lifetime encounter, I mean we all drive around for hours and hours hoping to just catch a glimpse of a leopard, but having one come walking right up to you and giving your car tire a good old bite is unheard of. We've been debating as to why the leopard bit the tire as he never showed any signs of aggression and approached us directly from a far enough distance, so the only logical explanation according to me would be that there was another prime male on the road about 45 minutes prior to this encounter and we possibly drove through that male's urine and the leopard that bit the tire could smell the other males scent. Could have sparked a reaction especially as he had a female with him."

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