It’s the last thing you’d expect when tucking into a meal. This poor leopard was the prime target for a dead zebra’s last laugh.
The leopard chows down on his untouched stripy meat feast. It gets a bloody surprise as its sharp teeth rupture the carcass, sending a gruesome waterfall over the unsuspecting big cat and startling the animal.
This grisly moment was captured on camera during a morning patrol at the Djuma Private Game Reserve in Vuyatela, South Africa, by safari guide Taxon Nkuna.
The zebra wasn’t a fresh kill for the hungry leopard. From its distended state, it’s likely that the zebra died of natural causes and the leopard simply happened upon the ample food source.
“You can see from the bloating that it may have already been dead for over 24 hours,” said the reserve’s general manager Candice Grover to the Daily Mail. “The Leopard wouldn't necessarily be going for the liver but it will start eating from the softest part of the animal which is the underbelly.”
After decaying for nearly a day, putrefying gases would have caused pressure to build up in the stomach of the zebra, Grover explained. Any liquid present inside the belly of the beast would be forced out in a pressure-releasing squirt once the lining had been pierced.
So what were the internal fluids raining down upon the hapless leopard? Brace yourself. Grover helpfully illuminated this: “This would likely be an amalgamation of stomach juices, blood and if it was the bladder too then some wee. The leopard clearly was not expecting the stomach to burst and therefore simply got a bit of a fright.”
Check out the video below for the grim moment. Be warned, some viewers may find this distressing.