Councillor guns down leopard

Christinah Motlhabane
GUNNED DOWN: The dead cat

Wild cat killed in dramatic midday showdown

Whilst most politicians are famous for shooting off at the mouth, Nswazwi Councillor Norman Pitagano proved he is quite handy with a shotgun as well.

The 55-year-old BDP member has been labelled a hero after gunning down a Leopard, having just witnessed the wild cat sink its teeth into another man’s foot.

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After missing with his first shot, Pitango made no mistake with his second, sending his bullet flying into the leopard’s neck from close quarters. The animal died instantly.

The high-stakes shootout, which pitted four men and their dogs against one angry feline, played out on the outskirts of Nswazwi village on Monday afternoon.

Speaking to The Voice on Wednesday, Pitango explained he was contacted by one Motsumi Maule, 57, who had spotted a large leopard perched at the top of a tree near his kraal.

Suspecting it could be the cat that has long been terrorizing villagers, killing their calves and goats, he immediately drove to the kraal with three other men.

“Upon seeing my car, the wild cat came down from the tree and got in the dense wild bushes. I asked the men I was with to check if it has cubs and warned them that if the leopard approaches, we should stand our ground as running would encourage it to attack.”

OUCH: Duiker's injured ankle
OUCH: Duiker’s injured ankle

All of a sudden, Pitango found himself face-to-face with the growling beast.

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“It happened very fast. In the blink of an eye, from nowhere it was standing right in front of me at a distance of a meter. Quickly I shot at it and it leapt on me, tearing my trouser before falling on Itumeleng Duiker Maule, mauling his right leg and scratching the other,” narrated the Councillor.

As the men stood in shock, their dogs sprung into action, attacking the lion and forcing it to let go of 44-year-old Duiker’s foot.

It was then that Pitango’s survival instincts kicked in.

“Having escaped its clutches after it pounced on me and ripped up my trouser I told myself come what may I have to fight this animal. Shaking inside my boots I had to stand strong!

“It very much turned into a full on fight for survival.”

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The fight proved intense but short lived, however, as a single shot to the neck was enough to fell the leopard.

After their attempts to contact the wildlife department failed, the men called the police instead. Duiker was then taken to the clinic where he was treated and discharged.

Efforts to reach the injured man proved unsuccessful, as his phone did not go trough despite numerous attempts.

Meanwhile, Regional Wildlife Officer, Phemelo Gadimang confirmed the shooting of a leopard in Nswazwi after it had attacked and injured a man.

“It was heard they had two guns and dogs that assisted them and they managed to kill it with the councillor’s shotgun. Leopard distribution in Botswana is very wild. Whenever one is in the bush they have to assume a leopard could be nearby,” advised Gadimang in a brief interview with The Voice.

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