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Kwando Lebala - October 2009 - the Magician in action


Bush dog

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Bush dog

I decide to share a sighting from October 2009 ; Leopard versus Warthog.

At first, a detailed report of the sighting + my impressions about it, and then the pictures in chronogical order.

 

 

It happens in October 2009, on the Kwando concession. As usual, we were out in the early morning when we came across fresh leopard’s spoors. We, of course, followed the tracks and when they went off road, Simon, the tracker went off the car to have a better reading of it. He was walking a few meters in front of the vehicle, his eyes focused on the ground, when Spencer called him back on the car, the leopard was walking 25 meters in front of Simon. It was a big male, very relax, known by Spencer; he had even given him a name “The Magician”.

 

The territory of this leopard was going from the flooded plains to the mopane passing by the only baobab of the concession. We were just close to the baobab when they began to track the “Magician”.

 

A few minutes after, Spencer, as well as the leopard, spotted two warthogs (a heavily pregnant female and one of her offspring from the previous year) that disappeared in a burrow. The leopard then decided to ambush just at the entrance of the hole. Spencer said it will not take all day, between 1 ½ and 2 hours, the warthogs being not too patient.

 

After one hour and a half of patient waiting, the two warthogs, suddenly appeared, the leopard pounced on the female.

During the wrestling, the leopard tried to reach the throat while trying to keep, with his back paws, the warthog’s head at a distance, to provide against the sharp tusks. The warthog was screaming loud. After ten minutes of a wild battle, the leopard succeeded in immobilizing the warthog, his mouth and fangs on the warthog’s neck. We all then thought that it was finished when, attracted by the shrieks, a hyena decided to be part of the action. The leopard, of course, had to release his pressure and the warthog, badly injured, managed to escape.

 

It's very difficult to say what's finally happened with the warthog which was heavily injured and bleeding a lot. Spencer had 2 scenarios. Number one, the heavily pregnant female warthog sheltered in a burrow and died there or survived. Number two, as she needed all her forces and energy to recover, she might have made a miscarriage and perhaps survived.

It is not uncommon to see a hyena saving the life of a leopard’s prey. I have seen it several years ago in the Savute with an impala.

On the other hand I have never seen an incident with such savagery and violence but also with such reaction speed to the moves of the opponent, especially in the warthog’s right. Before being the witness of this, it was very difficult for me to imagine that an animal like a warthog could resist, almost ten minutes, an eternity for such a situation, to the power and speed of a leopard.

 

7.19 AM

 

post-48450-0-65767300-1416171503_thumb.jpg

 

8.41 AM

 

post-48450-0-77262700-1416171522_thumb.jpg

 

8.43 AM

 

post-48450-0-67385900-1416171545_thumb.jpg

 

8.44 AM

 

post-48450-0-80737100-1416171564_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-36024100-1416171604_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-21224700-1416171622_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-34865800-1416171643_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-49109200-1416171665_thumb.jpg

 

8.46 AM

 

post-48450-0-83802300-1416171687_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-28036200-1416171714_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Bush dog

CONTINUED

 

8.47 AM

 

post-48450-0-09563500-1416172246_thumb.jpg

 

8.48 AM

 

post-48450-0-29557100-1416172275_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-64003100-1416172289_thumb.jpg

 

8.49

 

AMpost-48450-0-31662300-1416172306_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-11565400-1416172323_thumb.jpg

 

9.07 AM

 

post-48450-0-47773600-1416172343_thumb.jpg

 

9.14 AM

 

post-48450-0-43426400-1416172355_thumb.jpg

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Game Warden

@@Bush dog Mike: what an amazing photo series: reading it, I can feel the power in both animals.

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Great job capturing this intense sequence. You really get an impression of what a tough (and large) contender the warthog really is. If you have any more spectacular sightings "waiting in the wings" to be posted, I would surely like to see them. :)

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madaboutcheetah

@@Bush dog ...... That;s awesome footage of the Magician ....... One of the reasons why the guides named him so, I suppose...

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Soukous

a phenomenal sequence @ Bush Dog thanks fo rsharing

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wilddog

I bet your heart was pounding at the end of this. Such a dramatic event and so well captured in your series of images. Thanks for letting us see it.

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Bush dog

@@Game Warden

 

Thank you for your comments. Power is, indeed, what is coming out of this sighting, power in the action but also power of survival.

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Bush dog

If you have any more spectacular sightings "waiting in the wings" to be posted, I would surely like to see them. :)

Witnessing that kind of sighting is not occuring frequently. If I remember quite well, it was also a "première" for Spencer. However, I do have another sighting with wild dogs, but not as spectacular. Last week, I was in the Selous Game Reserve and I attended an interesting confrontation between a predator and its prey.

 

Thank you for your comments

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Bush dog

@madaboutcheetah@michael-ibk@Soukous

 

Thank you for your kind words

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Bush dog

@@wilddog

 

Honestly, I do not remember if my heart was pounding or not after those 10 minutes. I saw the whole sequence through the lens and I was very busy trying to follow the action, that never stopped changing directions. I only discovered the intensity of the action on the screen of my computer, once returned back home.

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madaboutcheetah

 

If you have any more spectacular sightings "waiting in the wings" to be posted, I would surely like to see them. :)

Witnessing that kind of sighting is not occuring frequently. If I remember quite well, it was also a "première" for Spencer. However, I do have another sighting with wild dogs, but not as spectacular. Last week, I was in the Selous Game Reserve and I attended an interesting confrontation between a predator and its prey.

 

Thank you for your comments

 

 

Mike, look forward to hearing about your travels to Selous. When at Lagoon this recent trip, I met a gentleman who is obsessed with the wild dogs, and he goes a lot to Selous in October ...... So, look forward to your sightings....

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Amazing! Did you also know some of those pics are in canvas at the wall at Kwara camp too?
I also saw these photos in a newspaper (the telegraph or something) quite a while ago...never thought I'd talk with author years later!

I saw a similar incident on Caught in the Act in the Kruger where a warthog hunting leopard was attacked and treed by a hyaena. Was the Savuti incident also with a leopard, and can we expect a trip report? :)

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Bush dog

@@Big_Dog

 

Thank you for taking some time to comment. Yes, I know that those pics are at the wall at Kwara camp.

The Savuti incident was also with a leopard, about 15 years ago: no trip report about this. It's too far away in time and no more decent pics available

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FlyTraveler

@@Bush dog : I'm speechless, incredible sequence of photos showcasing the entire hunt with both leopard and warthog in the air at certain moments! What a great sighting and such a fabulous job capturing it! Would you share more photos from this trip, please?

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Fantastic sequence Mike.

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Bush dog

@@FlyTraveler

 

Thank you for your kind words. What do you mean by "Would you share more photos from this trip"? Do you mean other pictures of the battle, or other pictures in general?

 

@@Geoff

 

Thank you

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FlyTraveler

@@FlyTraveler

 

Thank you for your kind words. What do you mean by "Would you share more photos from this trip"? Do you mean other pictures of the battle, or other pictures in general?

 

@@Geoff

 

Thank you

 

I (and everyone else here, I presume) would appreciate any photos from this trip, more of the battle, if you have any plus photos from other sightings, if you have time for posting, of course...

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Bush dog

@@FlyTraveler

 

Yes, it's possible to post more pictures about this trip. Regarding the battle, you will need a bit of patience because I will have to pick out the shots that are sufficiently good to be posted. That will take some time.

Concerning other sightings, it's also possible, but it will not be as spectacular. Indeed, though I've been a few times to the Kwando concessions (Kwara included), apart from this battle, I've never been very lucky with the cats (mainly the cheetahs) and the dogs. I will thus also include pictures from all the trips to the Kwando concessions

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Bush dog

Instead of including all the pictures of all the trips to the Kwando concessions in this topic, I will, apart from more of the battle of course, open a new topic for this purpose.

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Bush dog

The additional battle pictures in chronological order.

 

post-48450-0-23331300-1416662101_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-54677200-1416662111_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-84833400-1416662136_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-22362600-1416662154_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-59214300-1416662168_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-09824400-1416662188_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-16968500-1416662211_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-04509200-1416662226_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-18393500-1416662242_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-79279700-1416662260_thumb.jpg

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Bush dog

The last pictures of the battle.

 

post-48450-0-69069700-1416662453_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-05074700-1416662468_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-49453400-1416662481_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-62853500-1416662499_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-20940400-1416662513_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-74617900-1416662529_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-01353000-1416662548_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-51325200-1416662564_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-60323100-1416662579_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-70314400-1416662604_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-93747100-1416662624_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-29232300-1416662643_thumb.jpgpost-48450-0-46046500-1416662657_thumb.jpg

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madaboutcheetah

@@Bush dog Just an amazing sighting and series of photos Mike.

 

Plus one ...... Brilliant, Mike ......

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