The Tragedy of the Leopard and the Baboon.

James Warwick Wildlife Photography

This 4:38 documentary clip will affect you for the remainder of the day.  A leopard attacks and kills a baboon.  While dragging the body up into a tree, the big cat notices a newborn ape clinging to its dead mother’s body.  What happens next is an intense couple of minutes.

This clip is part of the National Geographic documentary, ‘Eye of the Leopard,’ pieced together over the course of three years by filmmakers and conservationists, Beverly and Dereck Joubert.  It is the story of Legadema (lah-heh-deem-uh), a female leopard that the Jouberts discovered when she was just 8 days old.  The scene above takes place during the early stages of Legadema’s independence from her mother.  The predator had yet to produce her own offspring, and in a moment of confusion following a kill, her natural maternal instincts took over.  Although, Legadema saved the infant baboon from hyenas and other harm that evening, the baby eventually succumbed to the elements.

Photography by Beverly Joubert

Eye of the Leopard was released on DVD in February of 2007 and is available to purchase through Amazon for as little as $10.  Jeremy Irons does a wonderful job narrating the life journey of a leopard cub in the wilds of the Moremi Game Reserve of Botswana.  It is a wonderful glimpse into the life of a most beautiful and rare big cat within a most cinematic landscape.   Dereck Joubert describes the process of capturing the leopard on film as like “tracking a ghost.”  More clips can be found on the Nat Geo website here.

Beverly and Dereck Joubert

Dereck and Beverly Joubert   have been documenting the lives of the big cats for over 25 years in the mediums of film, photography and the written word.    Their mission is the conservation and understanding of the large predators and key African wildlife species that determine the course of all conservation in Africa. Their major effort today is in establishing the Big Cats Initiative with National Geographic as an emergency action fund to drive the world’s attention to big cats and to develop real solutions to stop the decline that has seen lion numbers drop from 450,000 to 20,000 in 50 years.“We no longer have the luxury of time when it comes to big cats,” says Dereck. “They are in such a downward spiral that if we hesitate now, we will be responsible for extinctions across the globe. If there was ever a time to take action, it is now.”  Via National Geographic

If you find this cause to be worthwhile, you can take part by visiting The Big Cats Initiative website.  You can also follow their Twitter feed here, @CauseanUproar

The Tragedy of the Leopard and the Baboon

When I came across this video on YouTube, I had to scan the comments.  I’m so glad I did.  ThePerfectBalls comments, “3:15 is the most defeated face I’ve ever seen.”  This guy nailed it.  You might laugh, you might cry.  Both probably.  Go back and watch that mark.

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Thank you MrDielD for the video.  James Warwick, your wildlife photography I greatly admire.

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Posted on November 16, 2012, in nature and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.

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