Man tells of leopard attack

2011-02-10 10:08

Pretoria - A man has told how he used his bicycle as a shield to protect himself as an enraged leopard attacked him.

"The Lord was next to me," said Pieta Ncube, 39, who was attacked by a leopard which had just freed itself from a wire trap near a game farm close to the Dikhololo holiday resort, about 20km outside Brits in the North West.

Ncube said he was cycling to work from his house in Waterval at about 05:00 on Tuesday morning and was about 9km from the main road between Brits and Thabazimbi when he suddenly heard something behind him.

"I slowed down to see what was behind me." He stopped and the leopard suddenly attacked from behind.

"I was just able to use my bike to stop him getting me."

Steel bar

He did this by managing to trap the leopard's two front legs in the triangle of the bike's frame so that the animal wasn't able to move freely and couldn't reach him with his teeth.

"The leopard's head stuck out just above the saddle," said Ncube. The leopard was however still able to inflict bloody scratches to Ncube's face and head.

Ncube took a loose steel bar that he had on his bike to finally frighten off the leopard, after which the animal disappeared through a fence on the other side of the road.

"I then took off my shirt and wrapped it around my head to stop the bleeding and called my boss to come and fetch me.

Ncube's employer, Hennie Brits, 50, said he couldn't believe it when Ncube said he was attacked by a leopard while on his bike.

"You have a greater chance of winning the lotto twice than being caught by a leopard on your bike," he said.

Brits was on the scene in less than 10 minutes and took Ncube to hospital, where his injuries were treated. He will need injections every third day for a month.

Leopard trapped in snare

There are indications that shortly before the attack on Ncube, the leopard had been fighting for its life after becoming trapped in a wire snare on a game fence.

Nails and hair near the trap showed how the leopard struggled to free itself.

Brits said poachers regularly set such traps to catch warthog and other small game.

Hencke Marais of Tshwane nature conservation's specialist services said warthogs and leopards can't be kept in by game fences as they are animals that roam free.

"Nine out of ten leopard attacks are fatal. Ncube was therefore very lucky," said Marais.

If wild animals are injured or trapped, they are even more dangerous.

If the leopard was not too badly injured he would go as far away as possible from the place of the incident, said Marais.

"The leopard's chances of survival depend on how deep the wire trap cut into his skin."

  • betha - 2011-02-10 10:12

    thats crazy.... just reminds us that we actually live in africa

  • Gorilla - 2011-02-10 10:19

    Lucky chap. Just shows you, cycling is dangerous but it's true what they say - a bicycle can keep you alive.

      Japhta - 2011-02-10 10:55


  • DW - 2011-02-10 10:27

    Lucky, lucky man! Wish the leopard would somehow meet up with the poachers and be successful this time!

  • Nintendo - 2011-02-10 10:46

    Eish maybe he trapped the poor animal freed it from the snare and was carrying it on his back, then suddenly the poor animal woke up, sorry pieta at least you both alive

      Commonsense - 2011-02-10 14:11

      u such a fool...

  • Bareng - 2011-02-10 11:06

    shame orlando pirates fan...

      Nigel - 2011-02-10 11:13

      Wanyela waitse...

  • Kelly Seiderer - 2011-02-10 11:14

    @stargazeraisling. Yes, I can really see you inviting a leopard to "hug" you. seriously, get real, it would be a different story if he was intruding on the leopards territory. It's like when you swim in the sea, thw sharks will find you, its there domain.

      stargazeraisling - 2011-02-10 11:19

      i was simply highlighting the fact that the leopard may have been snared - and if that is so - is no doubt in pain.....and in fear...... you guys always get the wrong end of the stick dont you?! ROFL

      Ruby Jane - 2011-02-10 12:23 must get real...i can not believe that people can be so idiotic! We are talking about a wild animal that HAS BEEN HURT - we do not even know how severe!! HE IS AN ANIMAL...A WILD ANIMAL...IT HAS BEN HURT......D O Y O U U N D E R S T A N D????

      Mellicins - 2011-02-10 12:42

      No Ruby Jane. Clearly they do not understand that. The leopard is such a bad animal - remember these people are animal experts - especially Shamwari

  • 123online123 - 2011-02-10 11:19

    "The leopard's chances of survival depend on how deep the wire trap cut into his skin." --Nature fighting back at it's best.

  • Zeth - 2011-02-10 11:19

    Very lucky to get out of it alive. Both of them.

  • Flee - 2011-02-10 11:26

    Sho Sho SHo.... What a story to tell the grand kids... Glad he is ok... Just hope the leopard is ok, and heals well too... Its kinda crappy cause he most prob attacked because of being afraid... Not his fault... Just unlucky for the guy being in the wrong place ta the wrong time.. HELLO AFRICA!!

      stargazeraisling - 2011-02-10 11:35

      my point exactly....... now Kelly Seiderer thinks i want to "hug" the leopard ..... thanks @brokennews - you gave me a good giggle !

  • Homo-Sapien - 2011-02-10 11:28

    poor bicycle, hope it can be fixed.

      warawara - 2011-02-10 11:43

      poor you!!

  • Sonja - 2011-02-10 11:35

    Pieta was indeed a lucky man and I am happy for him. Poor, poor leopard -probably in excriciating pain, terrified and enraged. Snares cause horrific suffering and I cannot help but wish these callous poachers could get to feel just a bit of it...

  • Dries - 2011-02-10 11:41

    Pieta Ncgube, you lucky man. Hope you a speedy recovery, God bless...

  • Kelly Seiderer - 2011-02-10 11:42

    ok sorry i thought you didnt care for the man for a second.

      stargazeraisling - 2011-02-10 11:50

      not at all..... :)

  • inglorius b - 2011-02-10 11:53

    So glad they both survived. Speedy recovery Pieta, you are one blessed man!

  • Kelly Seiderer - 2011-02-10 11:57

    ok good, well im sorry i got the wrong end of it. :) im all for killing the poachers though.

      Flee - 2011-02-10 12:39

      You are most def not the only one in the queue to kill the buggers... they should have their hands chopped off with no anesthetic... feel how the animal feels... and then they will have to learn how to tie snares with their feet...

  • Sonja - 2011-02-10 12:04

    Pieta is indeed a lucky man and I am happy for him. Poor, poor leopard though. He was probably in excruciating pain, terrified and enraged. Snaring leads to horrific suffering and I cannot help but wish that those poachers could experience just a small percentage of the suffering they inflict... Something else, I live in Europe where "nature" and "biodiversity" are laughable concepts - there is hardly anything left. Wake up South Africans, and do more to protect our natural heritage or soon it will be all gone.

  • Megan - 2011-02-10 12:08

    Glad he's alive and okay, but I feel for the poor leopard. It was probably enraged and in a lot of pain.

  • Thabz - 2011-02-10 12:10

    Lucky dude, surviving a leopard attack..

  • Shamwari - 2011-02-10 12:12

    Em News24 in the previous story the man was 32 and now he is 39 in this story... what is his real soccer age...

      King - 2011-02-10 13:04

      That explains the Pirates jersey.

      Shamwari - 2011-02-10 14:17

      LOL king shaka..

  • 30.0kwes - 2011-02-10 12:12

    I am just glad the bycicle is ok.That is probably the guy who set the trap for the leopard. Well done leopard!

  • Denise - 2011-02-10 12:12

    What an ordeal for that poor man! Now he has to have treatment for such a long time to his body. What about his mind? I would never sleep again. About the evil sods who lay these traps..... I wish that they had been attacked. To me a poacher falls into the same cateory as the murders that prey on civillians. They are the scum of the earth. Cowards and a waste of oxygen. Imagine the dreadful pain that this animal must have endured. Imagine it's terror. We must be reminded that we are guardians of the earth and that there is a responsibilty on us to look after nature. There is insufficient action taken against poachers who don't have a scrap of concience. Get well soon Mr.Ncube! I am glad that you survived to tell this story to your grand children.

  • CofiDrinka - 2011-02-10 12:19

    Kry op jou viets en trek!!!

  • Digi_W - 2011-02-10 12:46

    You know I have been reading these public forums for a long time now as well as the forums on the Sowetan site. All of you people making these rude and racial remarks are the real problem. Do you're self a favor and read the posts on the Sowetan site, these people making comments on there probably is 95% black. And you ever hardly find the crap you guys write, you can say what you like but at least they keep it civilized no matter what the story or race. you fools should be ashamed.

      123online123 - 2011-02-10 12:54

      Aah, so you're saying the black bloggers will never make racial remarks on this site as they know it is frequented by white readers? MMmmmmmm... Interesting comment.

      Digi_W - 2011-02-10 13:19

      @123online. I am not saying that some of the blacks does not make racial comments on this site, the point I am trying to make is that even on a article like this unfortunate incident some people cant resist bringing race into it. and making rude remarks.

  • Louise - 2011-02-10 12:51

    I guess I'm a bunny hugger too.... hope the poor leopard is okay and his wounds wont restrict him! we shouldn't be in areas where there are wild animals around in the first place. I'm for the animals they are more human than we like to think, they don't kill and attack for a cell phone or R 10.00 no they kill to survive.... we think we are superior and have rights, it's because of this that the world is so screwed up!

      King - 2011-02-10 13:06

      It was an unprovoked attack. I honestly don't feel anything for the leopard. Had this guy intentionally gone and provoked it, then yes I might have pitied the leopard.

      DarkAngel - 2011-02-10 13:41

      @KingShaka - and I dont feel anything for you... Hope you also land in a snare - let's see then what you will do

      Flee - 2011-02-10 13:51

      King Shaka, I'm sorry but how can humans encroach on an animals territory, set inhumane and damaging snares for them, and hunt them for fun, not be classed as provocation... I'm Glad the man is ok... but really sorry for the animal...

      King - 2011-02-10 14:16

      @DarkAngel And I hope you get mauled and disfigured by the same leopard. Let's see how if you'll feel anything for it afterwards.

  • cynthia moek - 2011-02-10 13:16

    That was smart brother and very strong hope you get well

  • coolwaynie - 2011-02-10 13:49

    Meals on wheels...

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