“It was like fighting with a liquidiser. Sharp on all sides and you don’t know where to block,” Gerrie Camacho told Beeld.
Camacho was part of a research team putting tracking devices on leopards when a female leopard attacked him and four others.
The animal was caught at the Thabo Tholo private reserve in Lydenburg and they were about to sedate it when the leopard jumped up and attacked one of the men.
A shot was fired and the animal, probably wounded, fled into the bushes. Camacho followed and was about to turn back when he suddenly heard a noise and saw a yellow stripe heading towards him.
“I pushed the barrel of the gun in her mouth and tried to shoot. The gun wouldn’t fire and the leopard grabbed my left arm.”
The leopard jerked him around, biting his right arm and left leg and scratching him. She let go and attacked him again and another man hit her with an object, which Camacho credited with saving his life.
Camacho was eventually able to shoot the animal and its body was later found.