Remnants of a Kill

36″ x 24″ original wildlife painting

No doubt I am blessed to have witnessed this scene as it was happening during my 2013 wildlife research expedition to South Africa and Botswana.

Parked in a jeep at dusk just 35 feet from the base of this tree, I had spent the afternoon following this female leopard to this spot. The remains of the nyala were hanging up in the tree after being dragged there the day before by a large male leopard.

As the sun was setting, the male showed up only to find the female already eating his catch. Very quickly, a pack of hyenas joined the event, surrounding my jeep and the base of the tree in the hopes of some scraps falling to the ground. The male leopard used the jeep as cover to sneak up closer to the tree, but after each attempt, he was chased away by the hyenas. Finally, the female leopard lost hold of the remains of the kill. It dropped to the ground and the hyenas bolted away with it.

The entire event lasted well over an hour and was perhaps the greatest wildlife action experience of my life.