Motherly Heroism: Lamb’s Distress Call Sparks Mother’s Valiant Effort to Thwart Leopard


A mother will do anything to save her calf. This one even tried to risk her own life by trying to distract the leopard that caught her baby!

Mike Tilley captured the heartbreaking moment on film and shared it with

“Spotting big cats in the wild is always special, and sightings can happen out of nowhere. On this particular day, the desperate cries of a young Nyala were the reason we found a leopard.”

Nyala are fascinating animals that can be found in the grasslands and woodlands of Africa. Male Nyala have striking spiral horns and a dark brown coat with white stripes, while the female is a lighter reddish-brown color. Nyala are herbivores, meaning they mainly eat plants and leaves. They are also social animals that live in small groups called herds.

“We immediately followed the sound of the young Nyala in distress. The thick riverine bush made it hard to see anything, but we kept focused. Just then the movement of a female Nyala caught our eye, and that’s when we saw it!”

“It was a leopard with a young Nyala pinned under its front paws. Yelping desperately for help. The mother Nyala in the background barking and alarm calling in hope that the leopard may be intimidated and leave her offspring to live another day.”


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Leopards are amazing cats known for being opportunistic and adaptable. They are skilled hunters and can take advantage of various food sources. However, they are solitary animals, which means they hunt alone; this helps them keep their catch to themselves. So, when their prey alarm calls and makes noise, leopards become very weary, as it may alert other predators in the area.

“The leopard, clearly not phased by the mother Nyala’s tactics, picked up the little Nyala in its mouth and began walking. The little one’s screams were desperate and loud. The mother Nyala could not bear to watch any longer, and she decided to run off before she too featured on the Leopards menu.”


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