A professional hunter from Bela-Bela shot and killed an angry, wounded leopard in Tanzania while being pinned down by the animal, Beeld newspaper reported on Monday.
“I never really saw the leopard,” said Jaco Oosthuizen, 37, founder of Game Trackers Africa.
“I was reacting on gut feel and hearing. I swung around and shot, but then it got hold of my right arm.”
According to Oosthuizen, the leopard – which had sought shelter next to a dry riverbed – was about six paces to his right when it jumped at him earlier this month.
The animal tore the muscles in his right arm.
Oosthuizen, who is left-handed, fired a shot before the animal pinned him by the chest.
“Then I started losing sensation in my right arm.
“It was the second shot from my double-barrel shotgun that hit the leopard while it was on top of me,” Oosthuizen said about his narrow escape on November 4.
The leopard had been wounded more than an hour earlier by a Mexican hunter – one of Oosthuizen’s regular clients – who had been trying to shoot the animal as a trophy.
After being wounded, the leopard fled. Trackers were called by radio to help search for the wounded animal.
It was found dead by another professional hunter.
Oosthuizen flew to Dar es Salaam where he was given stitches. He was then taken to Pretoria East hospital where his muscles were re-attached during two operations. He was discharged from hospital last week. – Sapa