Friday 7 June 2019

Leopard kills two-year-old boy in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

A two-year-old boy has died following a Leopard attack in South Africa's Kruger National Park. Courtney Ntimane of Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga State, and his mother were visiting his father, Isaiah Ntimane, 35, a park employee, at the Malelane Technical Services Living Quarters at the time of an incident. The family were having a braai (barbecue) close to the father's cottage when the animal leapt from a tree, clearing the electric fence which surrounds the compound and seizing the toddler. The Leopard was quickly driven off by staff at the site, and the child rushed to Shongwe Hospital for treatment, but he was declared dead on arrival. The Leopard which made the attack was already being watched by the park staff, who were concerned that it was becoming to acclimatised to Humans, and were planning to trap it and relocate it to a more remote area of the park. Following the attack on the child it was tracked and shot, to prevent any future incidents.

Courtney Ntimane, 2, during a family trip to Mozambique. IOL.

Leopards, unlike most animals., are natural predators of Humans and will often attack us if the opportunity arises. They are also extremely flexible in their habitat requirements, and can adapt to live in Human-modified environments quite readily. Humans will generally do their best to avoid this, and in areas where Leopards are found tend to take precautions, such as building secure barriers around villages or killing the Leopards. Leopards are considered to be Vulnerable under the terms of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, due to habitat loss, licenced hunting, poaching for the illegal wildlife trade and loss of prey species, though Southern African populations have been less depleted than populations in other parts of Africa and Asia.

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