We're not sure which of these juvenile animals made the bigger blunder: the baby mongoose that bolted full tilt into the waiting claws of a leopard, or the big cat that couldn't quite get a grip on an easy meal.

Filmed last month during a live safari in South Africa's Djuma Private Game Reserve, the clip stars a young leopard named Tlalamba and a particularly bold mongoose that managed to escape an untimely end. The footage kicks off with Tlalamba crouched in preparation for an ambush just a few metres away from a business of mongooses (yes, "business" is one of the collective nouns for mongooses). Whether the inexperienced cat realises it or not, the mongooses are clearly onto her and without sufficient foliage to conceal her form, the ambush attempt was flawed from the start. 

Despite her poor positioning, one of the younger mongooses charges out of the tall grass and sprints straight at the prone cat. Caught off guard, Tlalamba struggles to sink a claw into the squirming prey and the mongoose manages a swift escape. 

"Though she wasn't lucky this time, Tlalamba shows promise of becoming as skilled a huntress as her mother, Thandi," the SafariLIVE crew wrote in a Facebook post. Tlalamba and Thandi are well-known residents of Djuma and even have their own Facebook pages (mostly selfies). As Tlalamba begins to head out on her own she will have to hone her skills as a hunter in order to survive. And she seems to be doing just that. More recently, the young cat was recorded taking down a duiker on her own:


Top header image: Tim Ellis, Flickr