Leopard Taking Down Wildebeest

I've been on several safaris in Africa but up until now I had never experienced seeing one of the big cats take down its prey. In September I visited the Masai Mara in Kenya for the Great Migration. Starting around July and August every year and ending in September or October over a million wildebeest enter the Masai Mara from the Serengeti in Tanzania for greener grounds. 

One of the highlights of a safari during the migration is watching the wildebeest cross the Mara River. They prance back and forth sometimes for hours before almost spontaneously deciding to cross as a herd. In a matter of 15 to 30 minute hundreds or even thousands or wildebeest will cross the river as crocodiles wait for an easy meal.

While we were waiting for the wildebeest to decide to cross one walked under a tree with a leopard sleeping. Leopards are mostly nocturnal but when an opportunity arises for an easy meal they seize the opportunity.

The leopard jumped out of the tree onto the back of the wildebeest. He quickly grabbed it by the neck to suffocate it. A few seconds later he had the wildebeest to the ground. The leopard held on for about five minutes before dragging the wildebeest off into the bush to enjoy an early dinner.