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Thursday, 9 July 2020

Scaredy cat! Leopard cub jumps six feet into the air after sister terrifies him by creeping up from behind at South African watering hole

  • Leopard cub drinking at waterhole in Hoedspruit, north eastern South Africa
  • His sister creeps up from behind, surprising cub who jumps six feet into the air
  • Gillian Soames spotted the 11-month-old cubs on CCTV in her garden
Hilarious footage has captured the moment a terrified leopard cub jumped six feet into the air after his sister crept up on him and gave him the fright of his life.
The clip shows the unsuspecting big cat drinking from a watering hole as his mischievous sibling tip-toes up behind him.
Catching sight of her out of the corner of his eye, the poor cub leaps off the ground kicking a tree, before crashing into the water and running off.
His violent reaction startles his sister, who can be seen scarpering off in the opposite direction.
Gillian Soames caught the funny footage of the 11-month-old cubs in her garden in Hoedspruit, Limpopo province of South Africa, on July 4. 
The 48-year-old Insurance business owner said: 'We are so blessed to live here, leopards are my life.
'Where we live we have wildlife all around us and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't wear leopard print.
'We've had a flurry of activity since putting the camera up two months ago, but we've never seen anything like this before.
'I'm thrilled with it and since sharing it online people have been going crazy.'
Gillian, dubbed 'the leopard queen', said the now-viral video clip was an example of a cub practicing a stalking technique on her unsuspecting brother.


Hilarious footage has captured the moment a terrified leopard cub jumped six feet into the air after his sister crept up on him at a watering hole in Hoedspruit, Limpopo province of South Africa
Hilarious footage has captured the moment a terrified leopard cub jumped six feet into the air after his sister crept up on him at a watering hole in Hoedspruit, Limpopo province of South Africa
Mum-of-one Gillian added: 'Playing is an integral part of a leopard's development, it assists them later on in life.
'The stalking, playing and leaping helps them later on with their hunting skills.
'The male was drinking at the watering hole and his sister was stalking him.
'He got the fright of his life, he jumped this way, that way, kicked a tree, landed in the water, then bolted.
'She gave him a fright but didn't expect him to react so violently, so then she got a fright from him getting a fright.'
The flashes seen in the footage are caused by the trail camera, which is invisible to the wild animals that gather there and doesn't disturb them, and is only visible in the clip due to the infra-red used. 
Catching sight of her out of the corner of his eye, the poor cub leaps off the ground kicking a tree, before crashing into the water and running off
Catching sight of her out of the corner of his eye, the poor cub leaps off the ground kicking a tree, before crashing into the water and running off
But his violent reaction also startles his sister, who can be seen scarpering off in the opposite direction
But his violent reaction also startles his sister, who can be seen scarpering off in the opposite direction
'It's like the videos when you see cats getting frightened by cucumbers - he had exactly the same response,' added Gillian.
'The cubs are the offspring of a leopard called Kalua who is the estate's resident female.'
Gillian and insurance business owner husband Jono Soames, 58, moved to their 'dream home', complete with a watering hole in their garden, 18 months ago.
They regularly have antelope, zebras, wildebeest, warthogs, baboons, monkeys, giraffes and aardvarks in their garden, but haven't quite collected the full animal kingdom yet.
Gillian said: 'We don't get lions, elephants or buffalo but they are on the surrounding land, we hear lions roaring every now and then from our house.'
Gillian Soames, 48, caught the funny footage of the 11-month-old cubs in her garden. She moved to the 'dream home' right next to the watering hole with husbands Jono Soames 18 months ago
Gillian Soames, 48, caught the funny footage of the 11-month-old cubs in her garden. She moved to the 'dream home' right next to the watering hole with husbands Jono Soames 18 months ago
Playing host to such an exotic cast of visitors, the couple decided to install a live camera that captures footage in pitch black using infra-red technology. 
Gillian said: 'The leopards appear in our garden at least twice a week. Last week we hadn't seen them for a while and we joked they were a week overdue.
'From our lips to God's ears, that night we had four leopards. To witness them in my garden it's karma, we've wanted this for so long.
'I feel excited and emotional when I see them in the garden, when we first got leopards in the watering hole I sobbed my heart out.
'I remember thinking "we worked for this, we sacrificed so much for this, this is how we are meant to live".'

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