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.
Beeld newspaper reported that Gerrie Camacho was at the Black Leopard Camp, in the Thaba Tholo private game reserve, on Saturday with a group of animal experts and documentary maker Dairen Simpson, who was filming for National Geographic.
They had trapped a female leopard, and were trying to sedate it and fit it with a tracking collar.
Moments before a vet could fire an anaesthetic dart, the leopard jumped up and ran at Simpson, clawing his stomach and face. It ran into the bush when a warning shot was fired.
Camacho was taken to hospital, but returned later with his colleague Brandon Mandy.
They walked into the bush to see if the leopard had been wounded, and it jumped out at him.
"It was like fighting with a liquidiser... sharp everywhere, and you don't know how to defend yourself," Camacho said.
The animal shook him and bit his face, arms and legs. It fled into the bush when Mandy beat it with a tree branch.
The leopard's carcass was found later in the bush.