The cat ran 100 yards and took cover in thick grass, where the group tried to flush him by throwing rocks. The leopard finally came out silently, low and fast. The group of hunters shot five times as it came, connecting with a load of buckshot and a round of .458 that hit squarely, breaking the cat's left shoulder. The cat spun and launched itself at Esterhuizen, covering 12 yards in two leaps on three legs. Although Esterhuizen tried to feed the animal his rifle, the leopard hit him full on in the chest, biting him and knocking him over. Esterhuizen momentarily pushed off the cat, which then locked onto his left wrist. After three kicks, he got the cat off of his chest, but it remained clamped on his arm. At this point Baker's brother got a clear shot and killed the leopard less than five feet from where the attack had begun.
Esterhuizen was flown out by private plane to a hospital in Bulawayo. Both of his calves were lacerated and he had four puncture wounds in the chest and multiple bites to his left arm. Luckily, he is expected to make a quick recovery. The leopard weighed in at 160 pounds. You can see a photograph of it with a bandaged up Esterhuizen in the Trophy Gallery section of our web site.
On another matter, I received an e-mail from Martin........(continued)