Mpuma man: Leopard attack like a liquidiser

2012-09-17 08:27

Pretoria - A wildlife expert employed by the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency is recovering in the Nelspruit Mediclinic after being savaged by a leopard, it was reported on Monday.

“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.

  • nikondaniel - 2012-09-17 08:43

    poor leopard

      ingi.raikes - 2012-09-17 09:07

      Shame!!! How sad for the leopard! I hope she wasn't trying to protect young ones at this time of the year! Research, what research? Just protect them by controlling encroachment of their territories by stopping bloody humans from over breeding and leave them alone!!!

  • jan.vanderwesthuizen.370 - 2012-09-17 08:49

    Not very professional. We aim to conserve, not kill.

      bob.frump - 2012-09-19 01:00

      Really. Do you have any of the facts? How crass of you to condemn two men you do not know. Armchair conservationists kill me.

  • nicholas.wessels - 2012-09-17 08:50

    Great conservation tactics! Kill the leopard you are trying to protect....

      bob.frump - 2012-09-19 01:01

      Shame on you for condemning two men who have deovted their lives to conservation. How easy it is to be a keyboard conservationist.

  • Hemlock - 2012-09-17 08:50

    Speedy recovery. Sad that the leopard had to die when she was only protecting herself.

      anele.mahlathi - 2012-09-17 09:00

      Shame poor leopard

      Smoke.ZN - 2012-09-17 09:46

      speedy recovery??? nah, let that bass-turd die... Leapards are endangered and for them to kill yet one more is unforgivable.

      willa.prinsloo - 2012-09-17 10:51

      @smoke - No leopards sre NOT endangered, only at disneyworld, perhaps.

      Smoke.ZN - 2012-09-17 13:41

      @willa check your facts boet....

      willa.prinsloo - 2012-09-17 15:57

      @smoke. I am not related to you. Your source is inadequate. At the 13th Cites convention in Bangkok, it was estimated that in sub-Sahara Africa, 700 000 leopards occur. Cites actually allows the controlled hunting of leopards. They are not endangered. Google further than sensationalism, for instance

  • aubrey.mposula - 2012-09-17 08:52

    its sad that people will invade the private space of this speices and when they fight back people would go to the extend of killing them sad POOR LEOPARD

  • don.quioxte.3 - 2012-09-17 08:56

    Not what you would call a successful operation.

  • steve.impala.75 - 2012-09-17 08:57

    The leopard should have done more than just to injure this idiot

      bob.frump - 2012-09-19 01:03

      How does it feel to blame two brave men who have devoted their lives to conservation. Shame on you for this sort of attitude and speech.

  • michael.barns.1 - 2012-09-17 09:04

    Can you not just dart it, why do you have to catch it then try and sedate it. Poor Leopard. Wildlife experts my ass.

      nicole.paulsen.31 - 2012-09-17 10:18

      darting the poor leopard wouldn't help as they are renown for climbing the highest of trees for their own safety and solace. Having the poor animal fall from such a high obstacle would be even more detrimental so I can understand why they needed to capture it first. NONETHELESS... dumb operation as they poor animal had to succumb for her own protection so i'm very doubtful they were able to mobilise the situation given leopards are very shy of humans but that shouldn't be taken for granted they can be harmful. Not "expertly" handled sorry!

      michael.barns.1 - 2012-09-17 14:18

      Well then give it a stronger dart, I mean you can knock a human out in a few steps, surely you can do the same... or just get a big matress ready for when the cat falls from the tree :)

  • Spiral - 2012-09-17 09:10

    Nice! YOU catch the leopard... YOU try to sedate the animal, it defends itself, & it gets killed. Human beings are pathetic!

  • dariusedwin - 2012-09-17 09:11

    Its a wild animal dude what do u expect. You invade its space

  • lindaawhelan - 2012-09-17 09:13

    I hope that female leopard didn't have young cubs waiting in a den. It's always terrible to lose a leopard but when it's those who are supposed to protect our wildlife doing the killing, it's even more tragic.

      gerrie.camacho - 2012-10-11 12:23

      Hi Lindiwe. luckily she wasn't lactating. But the facts above are very skewed because most people don't know the full and true story. this will only be available once the full investigation was finalised. I was attacked while we waited for back-up support, but the leopard would have had to be put out of its misery for two reasons. 1. you dont leave an animal to die in agony and 2. she would have posed a serious danger to innocent people in the area. it would not have been possible to re-capture her either. unfortunately all the facts cannot be disclosed before the final investigations were made. I just did my job and that was all. The fact that I was mauled and the fact that it was due to other people's error doesnt bother me, as it is part of the risk of my work. the fact that bothers me most out of this situation is the fact that the female has died in the process, as I have been fighting for the conservation of this species for 13 years now. Unfortunately racing car drivers do have accidents too. have a great day. Gerrie Camacho

      lorain.maseko - 2012-10-25 09:02

      @ gerrie.camacho - I feel slighlty embarassed to be honest, bacuase it is the nature of the average news24 commentor to apss judgment without knowing the full facts of the situation,the whole thing is trgic. 1. You being mauled 2. The death of the leopard.

  • atholl.hay - 2012-09-17 09:16

    Some seriously dumb remarks here. I wish people needed to obtain a license to access the internet ....

      merven.halo - 2012-09-17 09:30

      True, the people got no idea about what good the research do what these guys do. If it wasn't for this research the leopards would've died out a long time ago. Anyway, when a leopard attack it won't help to shoot it with a dart gun, the dart take a couple of seconds to work in which time a lot of damage can be done.

      travis.vermaak - 2012-09-17 10:09

      Yip I agree. I bet he was only trying to do his job for the sake of conservation of leopards.

      nicole.paulsen.31 - 2012-09-17 10:56

      Atholl & Merven: We no experts we all hear you! However leopards were always in abundance years back wondered about their decline? Humans are their worst enemy in and outside their natural habitat figures should suggest that. Yes capture for scrutiny purposes is understandable but killing the creature? If you are highly trained at undergoing these kinds of situations you should prepare for worst case scenarios which in this case seemed to be the demise of the poor thing. I have seen wildlife programs and pepper spray works 99.99999% of the time albeit you might be affected yourself. All I'm saying is you know the consequences of wildlife capture and why the leopard had to die I don't know

      gerrie.camacho - 2012-10-11 12:35

      Hi Atholl. it is sad when people respond without the true facts and knowledge, as you cant reverse a personal attack launched at someone. on the positive side, if we dont allow people to respond we wont be able to determine the general publics level of education, knowledge or ability to argue regarding the loss of our natural heritage. this only allows me the opportunity to go into a challenging debate, or the opportunity to educate the people who do care, but dont really know how to express themselves. I was, attacked, mauled, had Brendon to assist me with a log, and eventually had to kill the female. the full facts will be available as soon as i am able to write a full report. the last fact is that the results would have stayed the same for the female, after she was wounded. I dont complain about the fact that I was nearly killed as it stayes part of the risk of my job. the saddest part is that the female had to be killed, because, as people rightfully mentioned, she wasnt looking for trouble. the only problem is that we cant place proper conservation plans on the tables of Government, if we dont have the facts to support it. And very few people have even a little understanding as to what the status and trends of these, still roaming free, wild creatures are. its my job to try and find out. unfortunately I wasnt in charge oof this operation, and only took over once the animal was wounded. a full investigation will bring the full facts to the light. regards. Gerrie Camacho

  • louise.dutoit1 - 2012-09-17 09:23

    That's just wrong for shooting the animal!!!! She was just protecting herself! The people were trying to sidate her. what else was she supposed to do?! Just lay there so that she can be freely tranquilised and tagged, etc!? I think this is wrong! They should stop killing animals because of human error!!!!

  • dnxumalo2 - 2012-09-17 09:25

    Tracking animals is like tracking death.for people who claim to be civilized I do not know why they should be following animals around.In fact you should be arrested for poaching.You killed the animal and because of you the population has declined.

  • STEPHANIE.TEALE - 2012-09-17 09:25


  • jerome.fortuin.71 - 2012-09-17 09:25

    how can you be so badly injured and still kill the animal that running away . But i must say what a dumb ass to chase a leopard alone what did you expect

      bob.frump - 2012-09-19 01:04

      Becuase he has a lot more integrity an courage than you do. How shameful of you to make such comments.

  • terence.kuun - 2012-09-17 09:27

    Who is the idiot who killed the leopard!!

      gerrie.camacho - 2012-10-11 12:45

      Hi Terence. I am the "idiot" who killed it. If you are really interested in the true facts, you are welcome to email me personally regarding that. it would really like to inform you better, so you will be better informed next time. I understand that it is difficult to comment without having the real facts, at the right scale in front of you. I do believe that you really care for the animal. believe me, I care even more, and all the unpaid, years and efforts I have put in to true and attain just that, is my only defence in terms of what these circumstances brought about. once you have those facts you are welcome to call me even worse persoanl names than an idiot! my email is wishing you a great day. Gerrie Camacho

  • mandevowildlifephotography.obrien - 2012-09-17 09:28

    Absolutely correct. Not professionally at all. Appears the animals was not properly sedated and monitored. What's does he think. Going after a wounded leopard is crazy. His very lucky to be alive and I hope it is a painful recovery.

  • charlesglass1895 - 2012-09-17 09:34

    It's part of their job to observe the living conditions, account for numbers and gain more information in order to protect these beautiful animals. I am so sick of all you wannabe conservationists that do nothing other than make stupid remarks from your pathetic desk jobs. If you really loved these animals so much then why aren't you prepared to go out and make sure they are protected??? I wish you a speedy recovery Camacho and thank you for all the work you have done for the leopard. I'm sure no-one is more sad about having to kill it than you. As for everyone else, if you went on a safari and by some stroke of bad luck encountered a lion and it attacked you, would you want the people around you to just let you die??? You all such hypocrites. ESPECIALLY you @spiral.

      bob.frump - 2012-09-19 01:05

      right on. What stupid people. Keyboard conservationists.

      gerrie.camacho - 2012-10-11 12:54

      thank you Charles. I am recovering well, and as you have stated, no one else is more saddened by the fact that I had to kill the animal. I dont think many people would have liked to be in my shoes. I could have waited for groups of people to bring in dogs and destroy the animal, because that would have been the end result. rainy weather and circumstances forced me to continue the persecution as 1. its not ethical to let an animal die an agonising death on its own and 2. she would have posed a serious danger to innocent people from the area. I did what I could and had to. I am not proud of it and neither blames anybody because I was injured. its part of the risk of my work. but I did make recommendations from this incident to use it in terms of creating a greater awareness of the battle we are fighting behind the scenes. Unfortunately there are fortune seekers in this process who tries to claim fame or collect money from innocent bystanders and play emotional games in order to collect peoples money, so it pays for their bush holidays. I try and caution people to only donate for those organisations that truely does good conservation work for the species. if you wish to know more u r welcome to contact me at kindest regards. Gerrie Camacho

  • walter.lebza - 2012-09-17 09:54

    Conservationists? 100 rhinos were killed in one month. They're the ones who kill and sell rhino horns to chinese penple. I don't blame the animal it was defending itself. Who wants to be plush? The man asked for it, well done leopard.

      bob.frump - 2012-09-19 01:06

      What a coward you are. These men have devoted their lives to conservation. Learn about how conservation works.

      gerrie.camacho - 2012-10-11 12:56

      Hey Bob. thanx for all your comments. Good to hear someboby who are informed, standng for the truth.. keep well. Gerrie Camacho

  • sithembisopa.phewa - 2012-09-17 10:03

    lol leopards are not to be dance with

  • ashleigh.b.robertson - 2012-09-17 10:09

    Human error again and the poor Leopard pays the price :-(

  • erich.goosen - 2012-09-17 10:11

    Wait until you fight a lion - it will be like clashing with a concrete mixer.

      gerrie.camacho - 2012-10-11 13:47

      Dear Erich Please read my personal message to you Kindly Gerrie Camacho

  • pokum - 2012-09-17 10:11

    Dear Mr camacho im no expert but i know that when an animal is injured that last thing i should do is go into the bushes trying to find it, Just saying...use it dont use it, its all up to you

      bob.frump - 2012-09-19 01:06

      No. If you are professional, you have an obligation to put the animal out of its pain.

      gerrie.camacho - 2012-10-11 13:49

      Thank you Pokum I know most of these things, but I had no choice, there was no one else to do a better job. Kind regards Gerrie Camacho

  • Smoke.ZN - 2012-09-17 10:27

    Human beings are becoming a scourge to the planet. Humans are invading the animal's space more and more everyday. Silly twats think the same thing as fingernails that grow on a rhinos snout gives them magical powers. If i could, I would be out on the veld protecting those animals till my last breath. If i had to be killed by one of them so be it. For every step forward that honest good willing people make there are ten steps back by thieving industrialists. In this world we have beings that will hurt a defenseless creature who only wants love and warmth from you (i am talking about domesticated animals we would keep as pets). There is no place for people like that. I pray for the day mankind realises that the most valuable resource on the planet are the animals that make it alive...

      bob.frump - 2012-09-19 01:07

      these men are caring dedicated conservationists. shame on you for making such comments at a time when they and their families are in such a condition.

      Smoke.ZN - 2012-09-19 13:02

      shame on me??? dude...a conservationalist KILLED the very animal he's trying to protect. It was trying to protect itself. They shot at it once. It ran away. They chased after it. It tried to defend itself again. They killed it. He asked for what happened to him. I dont have any apathy for him. What about the hundreds of animals that are killed in trophy hunts and the such. No one can truly understand the social structure of a group of wild animals. What if they feel that very same feeling of loss and sorrow?? No one thinks of them.

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-09-17 10:41

    leopard 101.............don't mess with a leopard if you are not sure it's dead or sedated.

      willa.prinsloo - 2012-09-17 10:56

      Scariest animal in Africa - sharp points at every end, except its tail

  • clivegoss - 2012-09-17 12:03

    Arme kittie kat het niemand gepla nie ! !

  • liz.thompson.7330 - 2012-09-17 13:17

    Thats a shae, the poor leopard was only protecting itself, and beng female whats to say she didn't have cubs close by and thus protecting them too.

  • irma.white.9 - 2012-09-17 15:47

    Why did they not survey the area correctly before getting out of their vehicles? Or better yet, tranquilise the animals from a vehicle. If they were going to tranquilise the animals. surely there was the correct gun and someone could have just shot the animal like that, instead of shoot it with a normal gun? Shame poor leopard had to die because of bad human decision making. Expert, please. Disgusted with humans.

      gerrie.camacho - 2012-10-11 15:02

      Hi Happyness It sounds like you somehow do have some insight, the only problems is that the full facts cannot be revealed before the final investigations were made. I am saddened more by the fact that I had no choice as to kill the leopard, rather than being injured myself. I know the risks in my job and is still prepared to take them for the sake of the animals. unfortunately accidents can happen in all kinds of jobs. In this case I had no choice as i only started to participate when the anial was wounded and 1. she would have died a horrible slow death, which would have been an extremely cruel and unethical thing to do. 2. she would have most likely attacked some innocent person from the area, ou of hunger or distress. There is no such thing as an expert, but I would like to meet the person with more experience, care, professional knowledge etc. who was suppose to have done a better job than I had to do. the most likely situation would have been a way more carefull individual who would have called in groups of people with dogs, to find the cat and then kill it. the chances, if you would have had an idea of the terrain accesibility and the distances that needed to be travelled, that those dogs wouldnt have been there in time before the rain would have washed away all scent and the dogs straying around chasing other animals in stead of the wounded leopard. Hope this helps a bit. Kindest regards Gerrie Camacho

  • charkeebear - 2012-09-17 18:06

    Thank gosh Gerrie survived. Get well soon (Sam) <3

  • jutmarie.camacho - 2012-09-18 00:11

    Have a heart !! Gerrie almost lost his live trying to put the leopard out of her misery after a well put together plan failed. Things sometimes go wrong ...

  • eric.f.moloi - 2012-09-18 00:22

    Thy have crossed de line n some1 nearly paid dearly with his life,no one likes his privacy to be interrupted,so r de animals

  • simon.walsh.311 - 2012-09-18 09:26

    Mankind is a disease to this earth.

  • charl.herholdt.5 - 2012-09-18 11:52

    This man has spent most of his career protecting these great cats, what have you people done except sit behind computers making ignorant comments?

  • pages:
  • 1