Mahogany Knowledge Tree

Preserving Our Animals In The Wild -Got A Cat By The Tail

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SOUTH AFRICA-“Grabbing a ‘tiger’ by the tail!”

“When his field rangers came and told him they had spotted a leopard with a porcupine quill buried deep in his head on the banks of the Nwaswitsontso River, Douw Grobler, the ranger at Tshokwane at the time decided to save the leopard from a torturous death. He also happened to be a veterinarian, so the obvious solution was to dart the leopard and remove the quill.

At first all went as planned. They found the leopard lying on a branch of a tree. Douw darted it and it jumped down and started staggering towards the thick undergrowth on the riverbank. Once it got in there it would be almost impossible to find. What happened next is the stuff of legends.

Douw jumped forward , grabbed the leopard by its tail and there they were, dancing a very odd dance; the leopard trying to get at him and the man trying to stop the leopard from getting at him or getting away.

Jurgen took this picture just as the leopard turned and focussed on him. Moments later he was running up the riverbank to join the rangers who had seen the trouble coming a mile away.

‘You’re fast!’ one ranger smiled at him when he arrived.

‘But you were faster!’ Jurgen smiled back.

A picture speaks a thousand words.

In the end the drug took effect, the quill was removed and the leopard lived to hunt another day.

Just one of those crazy days in the Kruger.”

Kruger National Park