Leopards are known to be stealthy hunters but this sequence of a leopard catching a sandgrouse shows just how agile these big cats are.

Wildlife photographer Matthew Prophet was incredibly lucky to witness a rare sighting of a hungry leopard catching an unusual meal. The big cat was captured on camera in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park as it lay in ambush waiting for a flock of sandgrouse to fly in to drink.

The noisy birds soon arrived on the scene to quench their thirst. Their arrival at the waterhole gave the leopard the opportunity to make his move. Without wasting a moment, the male exerted his power and clasped an unfortunate Burchells sandgrouse between its paws.

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One, two, and…

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… the leopard successfully catches the unsuspecting sandgrouse between his paws.

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The leopard doesn’t waste anytime devouring his daytime snack.

Matthew says: “I’ve been very lucky to have witnessed some incredible wildlife behaviour during my career as a conservationist, but this was something special and unusual.” Matthew used a Canon 7D camera with a Canon EF 100mm-400mm lens and spent over an hour at the waterhole to capture this footage.

About the photographer

“I’ve worked as a nature conservationist in South Africa, Mozambique and currently in Australia. Photography is merely an extension of my interests and conservation work and has enabled me to reflect on my experiences and share them with other people.”

These photographs are presented to Tip Africa Publishing for use on Wild Card’s website only. All other usage is to be discussed with the photographer.