Sensitive urban viewers should avoid watching this video, which contains extreme violence and death.
In Zimbabwe, yet another P[rofessional] H[unter] has been attacked by wild game in the field. This time a leopard mauled PH Chap Esterhuizen of Martin Pieters Safaris in the Omay North Campfire Area. Esterhuizen and Pieters were guiding subscriber Aaron Baker and his brother Mike while filming an episode of the television show, Hunting with the Pros. Seems Baker’s brother wounded a leopard late on the evening of August 24 . After searching for a while, the PHs decided they should return in the morning when they would have plenty of light. The next day they jumped the leopard not 20 yards from where they had quit searching the night before.
The cat ran 100 yards and took cover in thick grass, where the group tried to flush him by throwing rocks. The leopard finally came out silently, low and fast. The group of hunters shot five times as it came, connecting with a load of buckshot and a round of .458 that hit squarely, breaking the cat’s left shoulder. The cat spun and launched itself at Esterhuizen, covering 12 yards in two leaps on three legs. Although Esterhuizen tried to feed the animal his rifle, the leopard hit him full on in the chest, biting him and knocking him over. Esterhuizen momentarily pushed off the cat, which then locked onto his left wrist. After three kicks, he got the cat off of his chest, but it remained clamped on his arm. At this point Baker’s brother got a clear shot and killed the leopard less than five feet from where the attack had begun.
Esterhuizen was flown out by private plane to a hospital in Bulawayo. Both of his calves were lacerated and he had four puncture wounds in the chest and multiple bites to his left arm. Luckily, he is expected to make a quick recovery. The leopard weighed in at 160 pounds.
When wounded, a leopard has a particularly good chance of avenging himself on the hunter obligated to follow him up. Leopards are not enormously large. They have excellent natural camouflage, and they can charge very fast. When he arrives in the hunter’s lap, the aggrieved leopard will be found to constitute a solid mass of muscle operating razor-sharp teeth and claws. His habit of dining on carrion also assures that the leopard’s edged weapons will be carrying a motherload of highly infectious bacteria.
Apparently, this unlucky professional hunter recovered. The leopard, of course, did not, but he certainly got his licks in. That was a nice charge. No hesitation at all. He managed to inflict a very impressive of damage in the short amount of time he had. I wondered how it would have come out, had there been fewer staff involved. I would guess, followed up by a single human, this leopard would have won.
Don’t feel too sorry for the leopard, viewers. He was a hunter himself and took just as much pleasure in the stalk and the kill. In the end, we all have to go, and this leopard went out bravely, leaving major marks on his enemy, and in hot blood. I’d say that was a pretty good way to go, assuming one doesn’t actually get to win.
Hat to to African Hunter Henry Bernatonis.