This impala may be the unluckiest animal ever.
The circle of life is truly a brutal one and there are few mulligans for the prey animals, especially in a place like South Africa. Keeping that in mind, the impala probably has it rougher than any other animal on the Dark Continent. Sure, they're fast and graceful, but anything and everything wants to eat them.
Case in point is this recent viral video from Kruger National Park. Tourists were filming when a crocodile leaps out of the water to grab an impala into a water hole.
In one of the most incredible escapes you'll ever see, the young ungulate somehow manages to wrestle itself free. There's just one problem. A leopard has noticed the struggle and is waiting to pounce the second the impala leaves the water. Let us preface this with a warning that it is hard to watch.
These tourists just may have caught video of the unluckiest impala in all of Africa. Just put yourself in the impala's hooves for a moment. Imagine the amount of energy that animal expended getting free of the crushing jaws of the crocodile. The fear must have been immense. Then, there's a momentary reprieve with a feeling of freedom, only to see more teeth and claws coming at you from the bush!
It may seem unusually cruel, but this is the way nature works. It's survival of the fittest and nothing about these animals' existence is ever fair. Still, the timing on this incident was unbelievable. The leopard just happened to be passing at the right time to spot this impala just as it was escaping. It speaks to the opportunistic nature of these big cats.
This may have been difficult to watch, however it was also fascinating at the same time. And a great reminder how truly wild and unpredictable nature can be!