Recently a leopard was spotted coming within inches of a Nile crocodile’s jaws in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, which is home to hundreds of crocodile.
They say you should never smile at a crocodile – and you certainly can’t get friendly with one.
But this leopard proved otherwise as he joined one of the huge reptiles for a chow-down on an impala.
Seemingly undaunted by the scaly creature’s massive, bone-crushing jaws, the big cat got stuck into the blood-stained carcass – and amazingly, the croc seemed happy to share its kill even though crocodiles have been known in the past to kill leopards.
Spotted – The young male leopard catches sight of a tasty morsel from his vantage point in the trees of South Luangwa National Park
Lethal – The Luangwa River boasts an extraordinary number of Nile crocodiles, with hundreds gathering at a time to hunt or bask in the sun
Room for one more – The leopard approaches the crocodile, which turns to face its challenger
L’entree – The leopard inches ever closer to the carcass to take his first bite… while the crocodile turns its bloodstained head to face the big cat
Sharing platter – The daring leopard delves in for a bite of the grizzly flesh, undaunted by the razor-sharp crocodile jaws just inches away
Plat du jour – The two animals now seem content to share the carcass by the side of the road in the nature reserve in Mfuwe, Zambia
Cordon bleu – Now both smeared with impala blood, the animals continue to enjoy their meal, seemingly oblivious to photographers
Park rangers have identified ten different leopards in and around the camps in the park, which boasts one of the greatest concentrations of animal life in Africa.
Sightings of more than 200 crocodiles on hunts or basking in the sun have been reported too.
Impala are the most numerous animal in the park, which also boasts 14 different antelope species.
The South Luangwa National Park is home to 60 different species of animals including hippo, buffalo, giraffes, zebras and waterbuck, and close to 400 bird species.
Munch bunch – Nile crocodiles are usually between 11 and 17ft long – although some 22ft specimens have been reported – but this doesn’t seem to bother a hungry leopard
Easy pickings – Leopards are extremely agile, stealthy hunters, but scavenging often provides them with a ready-made meal
Dinner for one – This giant Nile crocodile has no idea that another animal has its eye on his catch
Table for two – The leopard slinks out of the bushes, drawn by the promise of fresh impala meat
Three’s a crowd – A second leopard is too late for the feast as the crocodile finally makes off with the remnants of its kill
Date: 23 August 2013