Survival of the Fittest

Survival of the Fittest

Sara • 08/30/2023


The battle of Leopard 🐆 vs. Warthog 🐗

@matt_meyer_africa our Co-Owner tells us this riveting story.

When I was still a guide at Mala Mala, we were tasked with a patrol one day in an area North West of Mala Mala that doesn’t have any well used roads on it. We found an old fire break path that hadn’t been used in about 6 or 7 years. It was terribly overgrown but we ventured forward.

There was a particular leopard we used to find up in this area called the Airstrip Male – he was easily recognisable by one blind blue eye. When Grant and I turned the corner of this thick bush we saw the Airstrip Male in a poised position, as close as 3 feet from the vehicle, hair raisingly close to Grant’s leg. He was in a ‘pounce position’ – his tail was straight as a rod and quivering.

We looked ahead and saw a warthog burrow and as we glanced over, the female warthog erupted out of her home and was pinned down in a flash by the leopard. It took about 30 minutes while the warthog gave an almighty fight until succumbing to the sheer strength of the leopard’s jaws.

It was a spectacular yet gruesome scene to watch. If you zoom in on the last photo, you will see the leopard has blood on his throat. This is actually his own blood after being nicked by the warthog’s sharp tusk.

Kills are not necessarily enjoyable to watch, but it was admirable to see the sheer strength of the warthog and leopard embroiled in a battle of survival of the fittest.

The leopard later moved his kill to a tree and we heard from the ground that hyenas managed to steal half of his kill that night.