Just after sunrise recently in South Africa's Sabi Sand Game Reserve, a young male leopard spotted a large herd of African buffalo. About 80 of the massive, hot-tempered animals huddled close to stay warm in the cool of early autumn.
Crouched in the cover of tall grass, the big cat pads forward, seeming to think he has a chance at a meal; perhaps he’s seen the calf.
But his rookie attempt only irritates the buffalo. A posse from the herd approaches to assess the danger, and the big cat darts up into the branches of a fallen knob-thorn tree—a lucky escape in a sparse landscape. Veteran wildlife tracker Bennet Mathonsi caught the interaction on camera while on safari for