Leopard Plays Gently With Baby Steenbok ... Before Dinner

Safari spots tender, cruel interaction
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Apr 17, 2012 11:29 PM CDT
Updated Apr 18, 2012 12:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Hunger finally won out over cross-species maternal instinct in a heart-breaking South African scene captured by safari participants. Witnesses were transfixed when a female leopard grabbed a newborn steenbok, but stopped from eating almost every time the baby cried. The leopard handled it tenderly several times over a period of 45 minutes, and the hours-old newborn, oblivious to its danger, even tried at one point to suckle from the big cat, reports the Daily Mail. But the scene did not have a happy ending. "People were absolutely amazed, and felt sad, but they realized this is nature in its rawest form," said the safari guide. (Read more South Africa stories.)

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