‘Sir, I’ve spotted a leopard’ – were the words from a Grade 12 student to his teacher at Hilton College Estate in KZN. Here are the details…
Leopard spotted by student at school
Wildlife sightings in South Africa is not exactly rare, but when one spots a LEOPARD on a school campus, it’s BIG news. This is what happened when a student at Hilton College Estate in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands scoped out a leopard lying, basking in the sun at school.
Leopards have always been prowling around the Midlands, although they are rarely seen and even more rarely photographed, say IOL. So when this particular big cat was spotted and then photographed by a Hilton College teacher, it caused A LOT of excitement.
The teacher, Carl Schmidt, quickly captured the perfect moment of the leopard sitting gracefully on a slab of rock in the school’s nature reserve, which is part of its 1 600ha estate.
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The student who first spotted the leopard was Grade 12 pupil, James Cole who told IOL that he was stunned when he saw the creature.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes. I’ve grown up hunting and am trained to spot wild animals. I know how rare a sighting this is.” Cole said.
“I feel really honoured that I found an animal of such magnificence in our school’s game reserve.” he continued.
“At 17.30 he was in the same spot. If you see a leopard in the wild it’s because he wants you to see him. A big, healthy leopard poses no threat to people because it’s able to hunt. And leopards are shy and scared of people, unless they feel threatened.” Cole said.
Cole then approached his teacher and told him what he has seen. The teacher then photographed the big cat with his cellphone camera.
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According to the school, nowhere in its museum is there a picture of the animal taken on the school premises because of their extremely shy and solitary nature.
Check out the picture below: