Friday, March 21, 2008

Chased by dogs, leopard takes refuge on tree

Remember that hit video shot by a tourist in Kruger National Park in South Africa where a herd of wild buffaloes saved a calf from the jaws of hungry lions and deadly crocodiles?

Click here to watch battle at kruger video

Back in Barsol village of Dharampur taluka of Valsad in India, a full-grown leopard was chased by a pack of street dogs. The dogs forced the big cat, which strayed from a nearby forest, to take refuge on a tree for more than an hour.

In fact, villagers actually came to the aid of the leopard. They called in forest officials, who eventually dispersed the dogs and made way for the leopard to escape into the jungle.

"I have never seen anything like this before," said a Dharampur range forest officer Kanti Patel.

For the record, leopards relish dog-meat and hunt them frequently. The wild cat was ambushed by the street dogs around 10.30 am on Thursday. Initially, one of the dogs, adopted by the farmers, started barking at it but the leopard ignored it and strayed deeper into the village. Before long, half-a-dozen other dogs joined in, and a big chase commenced.

"The leopard ignored the dog initially, but later, when six of them got together, it realised the gravity of the situation and climbed up a tree. The dogs, on the other hand, were not in a mood to give up and sat under the tree for more than an hour till we reached the spot," Patel said.

Some villagers took photographs of the scared leopard and the 'big game hunter' dogs on their mobile phones.

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