When you film or photograph wildlife, you yearn for originality over everything else. With no hyperbole, a leopard hunting a Lappet-faced vulture – Africa’s largest, with a nine-foot wingspan – is a first. Anywhere.
We have spoken to a dozen guides across Africa with 100,000+ game drives and none had seen this or even heard of it. Scour the internet and it’s the same.
It was windy, cold and grey, not ideal for cats when Sapit heard some distant zebras snorting. He noticed something happening in the crown of far away acacia. Driving carefully off-road to investigate he was astonished to find a young female leopard Faulu (Success) struggling with the huge bird.
Once dispatched, Faulu carried the cumbersome carcass to the ground dragging it a few hundred metres.
The commotion had attracted some jackals and their deafening keening really bothered her. Whether it was these canid decibels or whether she spotted a larger competitor, she quickly abandoned her unusual feathered meal and fled, pursued by her noisy black-backed adversaries.
James Nampaso was also there and has guided in his Maasai homeland for much of his life and was staggered: ‘I have never, ever heard of this. I know they have broad diets but surely these huge scavengers were off the menu.’
‘Jami Port, on her first safari (!) did incredibly well to get some footage as all were shaking with shock and excitement.
NEVER. BEEN. SEEN. BEFORE.
‘ Originality. It’s everything’