A BRAVE Gwanda man escaped death by a whisker on Tuesday afternoon after he was attacked by a leopard while relieving himself in the bush.
James Chauke (25) is nursing wounds he sustained during his fierce struggle for his life with the leopard.
Some villagers claim he killed the leopard during the vicious fight.
This, however, has not been confirmed by the Parks and Wildlife authorities.
Narrating his ordeal, James, who is admitted to Gwanda Provincial Hospital, told H-Metro that he thought he was going to die after the big cat ambushed him.
“Kukurukura hunge wapotswa. It was around lunch time yesterday (Tuesday) when I was working at a plot close to a dense forest.
“I went to relieve myself. I saw some impalas and other animals and didn’t realise that they were being hunted by a leopard. I was among the animals and never thought there was a dangerous animal,” he said.
“I heard growls, but I just thought they were baboons eating something. Ndakati kogudo ririkungoramba richibhonga igudo rudzii. And when I turned to look back, I saw that it was a leopard.
“It was already too late as it was charging at me. When it jumped at me, I grabbed its front leg. I managed to pick up a stone and bashed its mouth,” said James.
“It was a moment of life and death for me, and I just kept hitting its mouth with a stone.
“Yakandiruma maoko, asi ndakaramba ndichikacha mazino ayo nemaziso.”
James said it must have been a female leopard with cubs because he heard cries of cubs. He doesn’t remember how he got help or who took him to hospital.