The Hunt - page 11

it has to learn how to stalk, downwind so its scent isn’t detected, and with slow,
deliberate and silent movements. Still, a leopard’s hit rate is only one in eight.
But a practised hunter – in particular, a female with cubs to feed – is a
master stalker. The closer she gets, the slower she moves. A paw can be poised
in mid-air for minutes before it settles on the ground, and moving forward, her
back foot slides under her front foot to ensure there is no sudden sound – a
snapping twig, for example, that could alert her impala target.
Low-level desperation.
In daylight,
a stalking leopard has a one-in-ten
chance of a successful kill. But a young,
inexperienced leopard can be desperate
and will try to catch anything, even a
small scrub hare.
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