Wildlife Filmmaker Has a Close Call With a Leopard

Wildlife Filmmaker Has a Close Call With a Leopard

One way to increase your chances of getting a good wildlife image is to carry out a thorough overview of a potential area. That's why having a solid understanding of the subject's behavior is so important. Sometimes, though, even the most seasoned wildlife veteran can get caught off guard, as this incredibly lucky gentleman was reminded.

Wildlife filmmaker Kim Wolhunter was out and about in the African bush, revisiting the two-month-old site of a leopard kill underneath a mighty baobab tree. As he was calmly and quietly inspecting the carcass that he had seen a few weeks previously, he spotted something else: spots.  

After he leaves with his head intact and comes back with the truck, as if to confirm his sighting, the leopard makes its escape from the trunk of the tree. You really get a feel for the sheer speed and power of the animal. I've heard and seen a leopard growl and sprint like that in real life and up close, and I can tell you that it's an incredibly humbling experience, to say the least. You can tell from Wolhunter's reaction that he realized just how lucky he was that the animal was asleep when he initially approached. It's almost guaranteed that the animal would have attacked him if it was awake, because it was backed into a corner and would have felt threatened by his presence.   

Thankfully, instead of having to report on someone being mauled to death while recording a video for Instagram, I now have the privilege of introducing you to this prolific and unique filmmaker. He has an impressive resume, having produced, filmed, and appeared in a huge amount of documentaries for the likes of the BBC, PBS, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. It's well worth having a look at his portfolio site, if you get the chance.

Have any of our readers had a close call with a dangerous wild animal while out with a camera?

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LA M's picture


Lucky man. The energy per pound that big cats can move around with is incredible..They would have found his carcass up that tree.

Deleted Account's picture

A good long zoom lens in a neccisity for the larger wild animals. If be too scared to even look into these caves/holes. Holy sh!t balls!!!

davidlovephotog's picture

Maybe a camera with less jello effect.

Mark Dunsmuir's picture

We’ve been pretty close to leopards on foot before. By accident. Walking that close to a kill site and a clear hideaway is asking for trouble. Lucky sh!t balls. No skill required!
I’d hate to see such a powerful cat hunted for killing him.

Andrew Williams's picture

About six years ago, we toured a rain forest park in Costa Rica and ran across a Fer de Lance (Bothrops asper) pit viper. I angled forward to photograph it while everyone else was not-too-subtly telling me to back up. The guide said that were I bitten, the odds were I'd be dead before we got back to the visitor center. The best case was I would lose a leg. In my defense, it was clear the snake was heading for the drainage pipe running beneath the path we were on. In retrospect, I was an idiot.