22 July 2015
A professional photographer was on hand to capture the sight of a lifetime when a kudu bull jumped several metres into the air after he was spooked by a warning call from a Franklin.
Arno Pietersen, who was on safari in the Kruger National Park, captured a series of eight frames of the animal’s massive leap, on 19 July.
“On Sunday, we were on the H3 road near Kwagga Pan and there was a group of six kudu bulls, which were all crossing the road and moving towards the artificial watering hole,” he said.
“The one that I got a picture of was actually the last of the group and sadly it had the smallest horns of them all,” Pietersen said.
“It was about 5m from the road when the call of a Franklin spooked it. Usually they call when a predator is around and the bull just ran towards the road and leapt. It was crazy at the time, I didn’t see much through my viewfinder and only when I was looking through the frames afterwards did I see how high it actually jumped.”
Social media users are awestruck. “Now all those road signs make sense!” wrote Dylan van Zyl on Kruger’s Facebook page.
Others expressed their admiration for the country and the photographer.
Charlie Cawood described it as a classic photo. “The beauty of our natural heritage continues to impress us. What a leap!”
Amalia Keen van Rhyn wrote: “Well done to the photographer.” And Patrick Walsh joked of the kudu: “Thinks he is a Springbok. Should be entered in the Olympic Squad.”
The park was established in 1898 to protect South Africa’s wildlife and is nearly 2 million hectares in size.
It is home to 336 species of tree, 49 species of fish, 34 species of amphibian, 114 species of reptile, 507 species of bird and 147 species of mammal.
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