Leopards are typically shy creatures, preferring to slink through the undergrowth undetected or bask on a tree branch away from prying eyes. But that doesn't mean they lack the curiosity so characteristic of all cats. While on a game drive in South Africa's Sabi Sand Game Reserve photographer and videographer Matthew Uys captured footage of a leopard cub trying to climb onto a safari vehicle.

Uys and a handful of Sabi Sand staff members were enjoying a quiet afternoon game drive when word came in that a leopard mom and her cubs had been spotted in the area. "We made our way into the sighting and found that the mother had hoisted an impala into the tree, and the cubs were making their way towards the tree to feed," Uys told Latest Sightings.

The young leopards did not appear interested in the meal, Uys explained. After a grooming session with its mom, one of the leopard cubs began to make its way towards the vehicle Uys was in. "It proceeded to walk past the front of the vehicle, and I anticipated it to come out on the other side," Uys said.

Instead, curiosity got the better of the youngster and it clambered onto the foot rest of the tracker seat. "As it moved further into the vehicle, our guide grew wary," Uys recalled. Although the cub appeared to be acting out of inquisitiveness, this kind of proximity can be problematic and may lead to dangerous situations in the future. When the leopard placed its paw on the bonnet of the vehicle, the safari guide "made the right decision and began making noise to deter the young leopard."

"The young cub gave a reluctant snarl and hopped off the vehicle. It moved a short distance away and continued to observe this strange green object that smelled of diesel and humans."

It's rare to enjoy this kind of proximity to a leopard and, while it made for an exciting encounter for Uys and his group, it's always a good idea to keep your distance from wild animals.

Top header image: Colin, Flickr