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Female Leopard Is Extremely Confident When Hunts Massive African Rock Python

The leopard was unashamed.  Lithe and sleek, her coat bristled and shone in the early morning sunlight as she strolled down the road.  Every few paces her tail would swiftly flick the insects bothering her and then settle once again into her graceful stride.  She was the Vomba Female, a mature leopard whose large territory covered much of the prime Sand River running through Londolozi.

As she continued forward, something caught her eye in the depths of a termitaria thicket.  It was subtle and camouflaged causing her to stare at it warily before venturing off the road into the dry bushveld for further investigation.  The snake had not sensed her coming and now found itself shifting further into the thicket to avoid a confrontation.  It was a massive African Rock Python, colossal in its girth and length.  Its muscular body rolled through the crunching leaves winding, curling, and coiling itself into a defensive position.

Vimba’s curiosity could not be denied.  With typical catlike inquisition, she padded her way towards the python.  She was not afraid, rather cocky and sure of herself, as if she just wanted to toy with the reptile for fun.  Moving swiftly now, Vomba reached inside the thicket and sunk her claws into the python’s wide body.  There was plenty of skin to grab as the snake reacted with fright to the sudden aggression and now found itself being dragged out into the open.

Turning to face its assailant, the serpentine head emerged to the left of Vomba ready to attack.  With deadly accuracy and speed, the python lunged forward to strike.  It was not quick enough as Vomba’s lightning-quick paw shot out and swatted the snake back down to the ground, dragging it further out the bush and into the clearing.  The moment was brief as python and leopard became embroiled in a violent confrontation until Vomba leaped away as the python regained composure.

The momentary aftermath saw the snake desperately moving back undercover and Vomba shrugging off any interest in the matter.  With a final gaze, she bristled, turned, and with a flick of her tail continued walking down the road from which she had come.  An astonishing interaction between two species in their prime condition.

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