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Friday, October 31, 2008

Leopard Attack!

This mail was sent from a friend of ours who is a professional hunter. The damage has healed quite well!

Hi Odette & Adrian

Thought I'd let you know before it gets to you by other means, I inadvertently got on the wrong side of a Leopard Monday 13 October and was torn up a little.

We were hunting an Elephant Cow and tracks took us past a Leopard burrow, which we saw two cubs sitting by. We watched them for a bit and as the tracks took us past the burrow, which had two entrances / exits, we all continued past. As I was by one of the entrances, the Mother boiled out at me jumping up on me, clawing my face, my arm and my shoulder. She also got my ankle. There are all sorts of cuts and tears on me from her, but it happened in just a blink and she was off me and by the time I opened my eyes again, she was some 20 yards away. My client cased her but I recalled him in case she gave him a working over too.

As she leapt at me I put my rifle and right hand in her path, which she clawed, getting my right wrist and scratching my brand new rifle that my client bought me.
Her left Paw caught my face and raked my face, leaving me with a torn piece of flesh just 2mm below my left eye, exposing some bone and opening up a tear some 2 inches long and claws pierced three places in my left cheek and neck.
She swatted me a second time before leaving and tore up my left arm and leg, but luckily my rifle was in the way and blocked her hind leg from disembowelling me.

I was taken to Sengwa clinic, holding the piece of flesh up on my face, they had no supplies save an antiTet jab which they gave me and referred me to Gokwe clinic. I was taken to Gokwe some 110 klms away, again hoding my cheek in place. There I saw a well spoken, courteous and efficient black woman Doctor who disinfected the wounds and stitched my eye and arm. My eye has been stitched both inside the wound and externally with 9 stitches.
I was not bitten, so am not in danger of septicaemia or the like, neither am I in pain, in fact there is no pain at all, but my eye looks like a purple balloon which is uncomfortable.
I returned to Hre the following day and went to my Dr, who complimented the work of the lady Dr at Gokwe, and gave me some strong antibiotics, which have helped.
I was ready to return to the hunt in the afternoon but my client refused to let me continue, he already had one Elephant but if possible said he would take a second and as it was the last day and he had all he wanted there was no loss, so I relaxed for the rest of the day.

I was extremely lucky not to have her attack me properly, she was merely wanting to get away and climbed over me to escape. I am litterally fine and have not been hurt severely at all. The blood vessels to my eye are all still intact and I still have 100% eye use and sight. That was the luckiest part, as just 1.5 mm higher and my eye would have popped.

I don't blame the Leopard at all, in fact I fully realise we should have detoured once we discovered cubs there. She was protecting her burrow and cubs. She cannot be blamed at all for anything.

I am hunting again tomorrow in Binga for 10 days, just doing a Buffalo / plains game hunt and returning on the 27th.

I will write again on my return.

Love to you all, hope you're all well.


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