WATCH: Heroic bird makes miraculous escape as hungry leopard leaps into the air to capture it
A heroic bird has made a miraculous escape after a hungry leopard leapt into the air to capture it.
Incredible footage has emerged of the cunning leopard hiding in the grass before jumping high into the air and attempting to pluck an unsuspecting stork from the sky.
The quick-thinking bird manages to escape the cat’s clutches with just millimetres to spare before flying away and leaving the leopard with its tail between its legs.
The dramatic moment was captured by shocked safari guests Paul Rifkin, 60, who took the pictures, and Lauren O’Dea, 32, who recorded the footage, during a trip to Tanzania.
Lauren, from Terrigal, New South Wales, Australia, said: “On our last day in the Serengeti as we were slowly making our way out there was not a lot action.
“And then we were lucky enough to spot a leopard in the grass, and just several metres away a stork was minding its own business.
“I wasn’t sure how long the leopard would take to pounce, and as she started to move through the grass I lost sight of her.
“I quickly turned my camera on and started filming the stork, and then it all happened.
“The leopard flew out of the grass and reached out for the stork as it flapped its wings for its life.
“Missing by just millimetres, the leopard landed in the grass and defeated, retreated back to a tree.
“It was such an exhilarating moment to witness and Paul and I were lucky enough to capture it.”
Paul, who is originally from Cape Town, South Africa but currently lives in Sydney, Australia, added: “I focused and locked my light on the stork, I waited for the first flap of the stork and pressed the shutter.
“The most common question I’m asked is, ‘did it get the stork?’ My answer is always ‘you decide’, as that’s the beauty of a photo.”