A one-on-one fight between leopards and giant rock pythons, but the hyenas are the beneficiaries(Video)

A one-on-one fight between leopards and giant rock pythons, but the hyenas are the beneficiaries(Video)

Keen wildlife photographer Mike Welton, 28, captured the drama unfolding in the Maasai Mara in Kenya

The predators were first eyeing up an impala before turning on each other and starting a brutal fight

Onlookers heard a crunch as the leopard delivered a fatal blow to python’s head after the scrap

An unlikely battle took place after a python tried to eat a leopard in a safari park, only for the big cat to emerge the victor.

The duo initially had their eyes on an unsuspecting impala, but the python then decided to try his luck with the leopard instead.

Initially caught off guard, the big cat leapt into the air and swiped with its enormous paws as the python tried to squeeze it into submission at Maasai Mara Triangle Reserve in Kenya.

A python and a leopard catch eyes after initially going for an impala, as the snake decides to try to tackle the big cat

Initially caught off guard, the big cat leapt into the air and swiped with its enormous paws as the python tried to squeeze it

Horrified safari onlookers were certain the leopard would be on the menu as it lay helplessly trapped in the snake’s vice-like grip.

But the big cat managed to claw his way out and deliver a final killer bite, with photographer Mike Welton, 28, on hand to capture the drama unfold, which was filmed by Live Life Safaris.

Mike, from Ontario, Canada, said: ‘We all had a moment thinking about how terrible it was that we were watching a beautiful leopard get killed.

‘Python constriction is horrible and it was sickening to imagine death from that.

‘The leopard wrestled out and was able to claw, then bite the head of the snake.

Horrified safari onlookers were certain the leopard would be on the menu as it lay helplessly trapped in the snake’s vice-like grip

 

Mike Welton, who has been photographing wildlife for seven years, said his safari group had heard of a leopard sighting in the area and rushed over to witness it

‘We heard a very loud crunching sound which was likely the leopard biting the skull of the python.

‘The python may have died or been terribly injured because it continued to flop around slowly.

‘It was probably the closest scrape with death that the leopard has ever been through.’

Mike, who has been photographing wildlife for seven years, said his safari group had heard of a leopard sighting in the area and rushed over to witness it.

Mike said: ‘It was a thrill to see the power of a leopard in action while hunting the impala.

But the big cat managed to claw his way out and deliver a final killer bite as the photographer watched the drama unfold

Mike said he heard a very loud crunching sound, likely the leopard biting the skull of the python

‘We waited about 15 minutes, the impala was cautious and the leopard seemingly too patient.

‘The distance grew between the two and I capped my lens thinking it was certainly over.

‘We figured that the python came out to try for the impala, which brought the leopard right into the python’s position.

‘It was a huge shock when we spotted it, we were very concerned when the action stopped and the python seemed to be winning.

‘The leopard wrestled out and was able to claw, then bite the head of the snake.

‘I think what makes these images unique is simply how rare the sighting is.

‘Word travelled around the Mara and of 40 or so guides, who are out there all day every day, nobody has seen this happen before.’

Sad moment monkeys watch on as python strangles one of their troo

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