John Fabiano (24), a photographer with a unique focus on the diverse relationships between humans and dogs across cultures, captured this unique leopard and wild dog interaction and shared his footage and story with LatestSightings.com.
This rare incident occurred near Lower Sabie in the Kruger National Park.
According to LatestSightings.com, just a short drive from Lower Sabie camp, Fabiano’s guide from Travel Buggz was informed of a wild dog sighting ahead. Everyone was excited.
When they arrived at the location at around 07:30, they found the dogs asleep.
Wild dogs are endangered, making each sighting precious. Fabiano took the moment to take pictures of the dogs lazing around. Other visitors came and went, but Fabiano stayed, intent on capturing their beauty.
The atmosphere shifted when a couple in a nearby car used their binoculars to look further into the bush, signalling something unusual.
Fabiano decided to look through his camera, and that’s when he eventually spotted a leopard behind a bush. Its gaze was fixed on the sleeping dogs. Despite several cars at the scene, a hush fell over the area, and the tension could be felt.
The leopard, using the wind and bushes to its advantage, began a stealthy approach towards the dogs. It used the direction of the wind to blow its scent away from the dogs so they would not be alerted. The thick bushes were perfect camouflage for the leopard, which moved closer to the unsuspecting dogs.
The leopard was careful not to make a sound. Its eyes, sharp and focused, never left the dogs as it moved. The dogs were completely unaware. The leopard’s movements were so silent and calculated that it was able to get within a few metres of them.
Just then, one wild dog lifted its head and saw the leopard a few metres from it, instantly shifting the dynamics.
The leopard turned in shock and began running, and a chase ensued as the dogs all took off behind the leopard.
The confrontation ended as quickly as it began, with the dogs triumphantly returning to their resting spot.
The wild dogs were extremely lucky that one of them picked up the leopard’s presence. Had they not, things might have not ended well.
“Seeing wild dogs is special enough, but witnessing their interaction with a leopard was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Fabiano told LatestSightings.com.
His advice to safari-goers is simple yet profound – respect nature, maintain distance, and leave no trace of your presence.