Prey stolen from Far Eastern leopard on the motorway

Prey stolen from Far Eastern leopard on the motorway

30 December 2017

On 27 December, a driver came across a Far Eastern leopard that was trying to cross a motorway. The encounter took place near Land of the Leopard National Park's border, by the village of Slavyanka in the Khasan District. The driver took a video and handed it over to the experts at Land of the Leopard.


"My friend and I saw the animal from afar; at first we thought it was a fox trying to cross the motorway," said Alexander Zaitsev, who took the video. "But then we realised it was a Far Eastern leopard. Once it got in the headlights, the leopard tried to keep its eyes off the bright light, so I immediately switched my high beams to low beams. We were thrilled — we were so lucky to encounter such a rare wild cat."


Workers at the national park research department came to the site where the leopard was seen. They found evidence that someone had moved an animal carcass, the tracks disappeared on the road and there were bits of animal hair and fresh blood stains. Experts think that after a successful hunt, the leopard tried to move the carcass across the road, but was scared away by cars. It seems that a driver laid his hands on the leopard's booty. The leopard then returned to the place in search of the carcass.


“In the wild, sika deer and roe deer are the most common prey for leopards during the winter months. One large ungulate can provide a predator with 14 days' worth of meals,” said Gleb Sedash, research fellow at Land of the Leopard. “But in this case, the rare cat was left without any supper. It will have to again hunt down its prey and use its perfect hunting skills which will cost it time and energy.”


The experts have not identified this rare predator yet, but they believe that it could hardly be the same leopard that was previously seen near the motorway close to the village of Barabash.