A wildlife photographer finds himself in a rather stressful situation after a leopard cub he was filming got too close to comfort him.
Dillon Nelson was observing a leopard mother and her 10-month-old daughter in the Sabi Sands reserve, South Africa, when she received a very unpleasant surprise.
Nelson was capturing the mother-daughter duo on camera when suddenly, the leopard cub approached him.
The filmmaker thought he was at a safe distance, but his blood froze when he noticed the curious cub a few inches away from him. Somehow, the 25-year-old ranger managed to keep his cool.
“I was quite nervous but excited more than anything else,” Nelson said. “It’s hard to describe how it felt while seeing it because I was trying to stay calm and absorb what was happening.”
The man was on a safari trip when he spotted two leopards, so when they both climbed the termite mound, he decided to take a closer look. While the tourists were at a considerable distance, Nelson came close to the feral cats.
“We were tracking a resident female leopard and her 10-month-old cubs as they moved through a thicket of willow bushes and monkey orange,” the man explained. “Adults went up this termite mound to get a better look around, with the child following right behind.”
But things get a little bit bitter when the young leopard went to investigate the cameraman. Even though he noticed the leopard and he knew he was the one she was aiming for, the photographer had no room to react.
“I saw her approaching, but I knew it was too late for me to move,” said the game ranger. “I think I should keep quiet and allow her to investigate. She saw what she needed and then goes on her way. Definitely a thrilling experience, and one not many people get to have. ”
Watch the heart-pounding moment, below: