By Charlotte Regen
This is the incredible moment that a rare Leopard breed was caught on camera for the first time in 14 years.
After Gorongosa National Park was caught up in Mozambiques’s Civil war some 95% of the animals were wiped out.
But since then, the government has been working to build up the animal numbers again – reintroducing Buffalo and Wildebeest.
Now, for the first time in 14 years, a Leopard has been spotted in the park and incredible, the moment was captured on film.
Zander Beetge, from San Diego, CA, captured the rare footage while on safari in the park.
Zander said: “I was speechless and in sheer disbelief, trying to keep my excitement down as to not disturb the leopard.
“This all happened ironically within the last five minutes of what was a beautiful but uneventful game drive back to camp.
“We were silenced mid-sentence, literally discussing with Richard the non-existent leopard population in Gorongosa, when lo and behold yours truly Mr. Leopard appeared.
“A young male leopard was spotted through the thicket by a very skilled ranger along one of the private safari roads of the Gorongosa National Park.
“The guide whispered, “Leopard” and everyone in the safari vehicle was in shock. Unprovoked, the leopard moved stealthily through the brush, following his own path back to the clearing as we recorded his movements from the vehicle.
“The Leopard assessed his surroundings before breaking into the open. He walked confidently down the man made dirt road, and suddenly and instinctively gives a stared down right to camera, before disappearing into the dark.
“This is the first leopard sighting to be recorded in all of the last 14 years of Gorongosa’s National Park’s history.
“Once it was one of the most abundant wildlife parks on the African continent with a truly unique and diverse wildlife population, Gorongosa became a battlefield for the civil war in Mozambique in 1981.
“As a result of this war – nearly 95 percent of the wildlife were destroyed in just over a decade.
“With this footage there is proof of the Gorongosa comeback story and a new beautiful sign of hope.”