View Full Version : Interesting tidbits on the most dangerous of African dangerous game.

November 13, 2007, 06:15 PM
Watching an African Hunting show on the Outdoor Channel the other day (or might have been Versus channel). They were hunting Leopard - the facts they alleged were as follows:

1. The most dangerous game (kills the most PEOPLE in general, whether hunters or not) among the "Big 5", is the hippo - knew that.

2. The most dangerous game to HUNTERS (kills the most hunters while hunting them), among the Big 5, is the Leopard - more dangerous to hunters than cape buff, lion, or elephant, they said - though a bit hard for me to believe. Evidently, when wounded they are extremely dangerous, and when not wounded as well.

3. The most dangerous animal to PEOPLE in general, whether Big 5 or not Big 5, is the Nile Croc.

That's the way I understood what they were sayin, anyhow. I may have misunderstood.

November 14, 2007, 03:16 AM
The hippo is correct as the most dangerous because it does kill the most people per year .
The leopard is the most dangerous hunted species because it is most likely to charge when cornered or wounded and its smaller size/extreme speed and ablility to zig-zag while running make it very hard to hit on followup shots. Be super careful and use expanding heavy bullets for such a foe. Too many hunters use solids as they had one in the pipe for a different species and came upon a leopard and took the shot. It just doesnt do the damage to a thin skinned leopard that it does to a cape buffalo. Its in and out before it has time to change shape leaving a small wound that really ticks him off.
And you better believe he can cover 60 yards quickly, often more quickly than most hunters can load a second round and re-sight

Greatest Hunter
November 30, 2007, 12:42 PM
hippo is not a "big five" . Just lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino. Sometimes people say big 6,including the hippo. The leopard is really dangerous when wounded because they atack in silence. Not the lion. Any hunter tracking a wounded leopard with a solid bullet deserves to be cutted in slices.....

The Tourist
November 30, 2007, 12:46 PM
Last year I learned on an animal special that all lions in Africa carry the AIDS virus. For some reason, it doesn't affect them.

This article disagrees:


November 30, 2007, 04:46 PM
Last year I learned on an animal special that all lions in Africa carry the AIDS virus. For some reason, it doesn't affect them.Just to be clear, it is not the same virus that infects humans. FIV, which causes feline AIDS, only infects cats (including a fair percentage of domestic cats) and not humans, and the reverse is true for HIV, which can't infect cats.

Greatest Hunter
November 30, 2007, 05:11 PM
thank God. going to africa and avoiding the ladies is hard enough. having to avoid the cats also would be too much

November 30, 2007, 05:43 PM
I once asked a professional hunter why he carried a baseball with him in the field.

His answer was that if a client hits a leopard and it drops out of sight in the long grass, the first thing the leoopard will do is use his hearing to hone in on Bwana. Rolling a baseball, hard, through the grass gives the cat something distracting while he and his client prepare. He says it works "most of the time" except when his client can't be quiet or still.

GH is right - leopards don't advertise their positions and can come out of the brush at a good clip -- around 40mph. While that may seem spooky, it's worse when they don't rush you. Now you have to go into the long grass vewy vewy quietwy because you don't know if he is dead or still has one short lunge left in him.

December 2, 2007, 11:17 PM
hippo is not a "big five" . Just lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino. Sometimes people say big 6,including the hippo.

I sit corrected. Then I don't know which of the Big 5 is the most dangerous. My guess would be cape buff or elephant. Anyone know?

December 3, 2007, 11:59 AM

December 5, 2007, 09:56 PM
Excellent video hunter :D

December 5, 2007, 10:12 PM
Heres a video not sure if you seen it.


December 5, 2007, 10:15 PM
Check out this thread:

Some nimrod said Leopard hunting is less dangerous than golf and I got all torqued off. Rich, in an act of mercy, shut it off. That one was ugly.

I had steam coming out of my ears for a while.:)

Art Eatman
December 6, 2007, 11:19 AM
Odds are that there are more hunters going after buffalo than going after leopards. Thus, more stories, more publicity.

January 9, 2008, 10:01 PM
I will tell you flat out that wounded Leopard is the most dangerous of the Big 5 and the least likely to make your PH a happy camper. You see, ethics and the law require you to go after wounded game until you either find it or further follow-up becomes impossible. In Africa, if you wound it, you've bought it, whether you find it or not. Leopard is currently around $2000 and up. And you don't get to try for another, even if you have the $$$.

Leopard are most frequently shot out of a tree where they are feeding on a bait you have put up. Range is usually 25-50 yards and you shoot from a hasty built blind. Leopard most often show-up at last light or are caught still on bait at first light. Silence in the blind is absolute; they have incredible hearing and will spook easily if they think something is out of the ordinary.

Ideally you select one rosette (spot) just above and slightly behind the front shoulder, as your point of aim. Find it by following the front leg up into the body and then moving towards the rear just a bit. Cats have a different physiology than antelope. A .30-06 or .300wm (my choice) is proper Leopard medicine. At the shot, Old Spots will usually fall from the tree into the knee high grass. You won't get a second shot and you won't see him move off if you've only wounded him. You are advised in the strongest terms to spend the next 10-30 minutes sitting quietly in the blind. This in hopes Chui was well hit and will bleed out or, if hit poorly, that he will begin to stiffen-up from his wound.

When you approach the bottom of the tree (carefully) with your rifle (or the 12ga pump gun loaded with 3" magnum 00 clad shot you brought along for just this eventuality) you will discover whether you've done your job correctly. If not, you have encountered one of the most frighteningly dangerous eventualities of safari - tracking a wounded Leopard (most likely in the dark). Your PH may or may not allow you to accompany him and a tracker into the bush.

A wounded Leopard will attempt to ambush you. He will go off a ways, circle back and hide in the bush, where he will literally dig in his hind feet to provide starting blocks for his death charge. He may let the tracker pass by before charging the hunters, and when he comes it will be at blazing speed. You will maybe have one shot before he hits someone. He will jump, placing his forepaws on the victims shoulders and using his hind paws to sink claws into the abdomen and then rake your guts out onto your shoes, while chewing on an arm or shoulder. He may immediately move towards another target. I know of cases where 3 separate hunters were hit within a matter of seconds by the same wounded and pissed Leopard.

Leopard mauling is very serious. The main issue is infection caused by the dead and putrid meat beneath the animals claws and in its' mouth. Evacuation is rarely an easy option in Africa. I have hunted areas where I knew it would require being carried a few miles distance to a vehicle followed by a multi-hour drive to a dirt airstrip followed by a multi hour flight to a medical facility for initial treatment, usually followed by an even longer flight to a proper hospital.

So, shoot straight!

January 9, 2008, 11:21 PM
Thanks lionhunter, you taught me alot.

January 27, 2008, 08:56 PM

Glad you found the information helpful.

February 1, 2008, 02:14 AM
Thats why people register in forums like this, it is a truly educational experience and I feel truly humbled to be among people such a you guys.
I couldn't learn more if I ate a set of encyclopedias.
A big thank you to the guys "in the know", your taking the time to set the record straight makes it all worth the hours of scrolling through the threads.

lt dan
March 5, 2008, 03:07 AM
there is one other reason why the leopard is so dangerous. if it is wounded the normal panic sets in(among the hunters). all hell break`s loose and often leopard hunters end up shooting each other.

March 5, 2008, 09:25 AM
If you have not done so already read Death in the Long Grass by Capstick. I am almost through it now. I had already finished Death in the Silent Places.

When it comes to discussing the dangers of African game in a blunt and up front manner he is great. In addition his "graveyard humor" will have you finishing a paragraph laughing only to realize you are laughing about a situation you could never have imagined laughing about.

I am not a big hunter, with only a couple doves to my credit. I am also not particularly interested in pursuing game in the future. As we can see there are plenty of posts from people who have the first hand experiences to speak with authority. Capstick's writing on the matter though is addictive, thoroughly entertaining and highly enlightening. His comments on Leopard are pretty much what has already been said. It is worth reading though just to hear his description of his "Leopard Kit" that was brought along should he have to go in after a wounded one.