Safari-goers at Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa were treated to a rare event: A cat fight between two pretty big cats.
Tourists arrived at the Sand River to see a leopard — itself a rare sight due to the cat's solitary and secretive nature — but they quickly spotted a male lion on the opposite side of the river. Matthew Poole, the group's guide, was intrigued by the potential conflict. "I said to my guests, 'Can you imagine if these two dominant males came together?'," he told Kruger Sightings. "It seemed as if my words weren't cold because shortly after that, the male leopard went to sleep and the lion started to stalk him from the other side of the river."
Sneaking up on a sleeping cat isn't an easy feat, but the lion stealthily made his way up to the leopard's rocky perch. Poole realized he and his guests might witness a bloody end to this wildlife encounter, but before he could warn them, the lion surprised the leopard with quick hop up to the leopard's sleeping spot and a brief conflict ensued.
Fortunately, neither animal was killed in the scuffle. According to Poole, "The lion drove the leopard into a leadwood tree on the river bank and then had a drink and moved off out of the area."
No doubt the leopard will pick its napping spots a little more carefully in the future.