In a statement, SANParks said the guide, Curtis Plumb, 38, was with about eight tourists on his vehicle and watching the leopard about two metres from it on Thursday at about 1pm.
The animal cunningly disappeared; it probably went around the guide’s side while the group was still searching for it. Suddenly, the leopard leapt and grabbed his arm, trying to jump into the vehicle, Lowvelder reported.
“Everybody in the vehicle started hitting the leopard with any object they had with them. The leopard would not let go of the guide’s arm; until a tourist from another vehicle rushed and repeatedly used his vehicle to scare off the animal and that is when it eventually let go,” the statement read.
Helene Boshoff posted a photo of the leopard hanging onto Plumb’s arm on Camps and Roads of Kruger Facebook page. Several Facebook users commented that the animal appeared to have been sick.
Spokesperson for Mediclinic Nelspruit, Robyn Baard, said a doctor was still busy assessing his wounds.
According to spiralhorntours.co.za, Plumb is originally from the United Kingdom. He came to South Africa due to his love of the bush and nature.
“We would like to thank the tourist from another vehicle for his quick and decisive action as he saved the guide and tourists’ lives. It is suspected that the leopard was fighting with another one as its hind was badly injured. The other leopard was spotted in the area watching from a distance,” said SANParks’ General Manager of Communications and Marketing, William Mabasa.
Last month, an American tourist was killed after she was pulled from her car by a lion at the Lion Park, just outside Johannesburg.
Like other similar incidents, the woman had her window open, leading to a lioness entering the vehicle. Manager Andre La Cock arrived at the park after being out for a meeting.
“I just rushed and found a vehicle with a tour operator and he had both his windows open. Inside, was the woman laying in the passenger side, bleeding.
“You could see she was severely bitten by the lioness and attacked. The (South African) tour operator sitting next to her had both his hands holding her… trying to stop the bleeding… trying to save her life,” said La Cock.
– Caxton News Service