By Mark Hodge @Mrhodgey

A BRAVE antelope makes an unlikely escape after being ambushed by a leopard as it battled a rival

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Footage: Thomas Nkwazi
Producer: Mark Hodge
Editor: Joshua Douglas

The antelope attempted to run off with the leopard hanging under its throat before it dropped it down

The red lechwe was already exhausted having locked horns with another male when the killer cat struck - but managed to shake it off.

A female leopard jumps on the back of a male lechwe in Botswana

The fast-paced footage was shot by safari guide Thomas Nkwazi, in the Okavango Delta area of Botswana, as he enjoyed a morning drive with four guests.

The lechwe is fighting another male and is too distracted to notice the lurking leopard

The 31-year-old said: “We watched the red lechwes fighting for about ten minutes before the leopard surprised them and attacked.

Taking advantage of the distracted lechwe - the leopard launches its attack

“At one point the antelope was running with the leopard hanging under its throat before it dropped it down.

A harsh embrace: the leopard clings on to the lechwe as it attempts to bring the antelope to the ground

“The lechwe was too big and strong, and after the battle the leopard was limping on its left front leg.

Death ride: the leopard clings to the antelope's back as it attempts to escape

“The antelope had some scratches and a bit of a cut on the shoulder, which I think was from a fight with another lechwe."

The fast-paced footage was shot by safari guide Thomas Nkwazi, in the Okavango Delta area of Botswana

Despite the violent attack, the antelope suffered only minor cuts, while the opportunistic cat left with its tail between its legs.

The red lechwe was already exhausted having locked horns with another male when the killer cat struck - but managed to shake it off

Mr Nkwazi, from Botswana, was delighted to film such a rare incident.

The lechwe was too big and strong, and after the battle the leopard was limping on its left front leg

He added: “I was so excited to witness such an amazing sighting - I could not wait to go back to camp and show my colleagues.

Despite the violent attack, the antelope suffered only minor cuts, while the opportunistic cat left with its tail between its legs

“It was really overwhelming. I have been guiding for ten years and that was one of the very best sightings. I'm very proud to have caught it on camera.”