A plucky leopard thought he’d spotted the chance to grab a quick meal by stealing a carcass from a group of crocodiles.
The daring big cat approached the float of 15 crocodiles hoping to steal their kill and an unlikely battle ensued.
Watched by vultures also hoping to get a free meal, the one-eyed leopard repeatedly tried to pull the dead puku from the giant reptile’s almighty jaws.
Having failed with his first attempt, the leopard retreated to the shade to conserve energy and consider his options.
But after three further attempts to steal the mid-morning feast, the leopard eventually conceded defeat and left the water’s edge with nothing.
Photographer Meike Kern, who captured the action-packed scenes on camera at the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, said: ‘I could hardly believe that the leopard walked past all the vultures and smaller crocodiles to aim directly for the huge crocodiles to try to get the prey.
‘Everyone was amazed by the photos and the sighting. Usually you would expect leopards to just lie dozing in a tree.’
Mindy Roberts, marketing director for the safari company, said: ‘It was such a unique sighting and also fabulous that despite only having one eye he’s brave enough to take on 15 crocodiles surrounding him.
‘Crocs can move very quickly and he really did put himself in a precarious position – one misstep and one of them could have been behind him.’
Food fight: A giant crocodile fights of the daring leopard which is trying to steal the kill from the jaws of the giant reptile
Not amused: One crocodile shows his ferocious jaws while another lies on top of the dead animal. Another crawls out of the water towards the hissing leopard
Undeterred: The leopard approaches the dead puku as crocodiles show their teeth and vultures are on standby
Keep off: Crocodiles fend off a pesky leopard which tries to steal their kill at South Luangwa National Park in Zambia
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Daring: The leopard approaches 15 crocodiles to try and get a bite of the puku they have killed at a nature reserve in Zambia
Vultures: A crocodile bears its teeth at a leopard as it tries to get at the puku carcass on the riverbanks of the South Luangwa National Park
Tussle: Two huge crocodiles wrestle with their kill and try to keep it from the clutches of a one-eyed leopard