Leopards are usually a picture of elegance. But even these graceful cats slip up from time to time. Take 'Shorty', for example, a leopard well-known to the team at Londolozi Private Game Reserve in South Africa, who was recently filmed dangling unceremoniously from a nyala carcass having tumbled out of a tree in a failed attempt to move his meal.

The footage was captured by Ute Sonnenberg, the owner of Roho Ya Chui safaris on a recent visit to South Africa's Greater Kruger National Park. The leopard was initially spotted at the base of a tree with the partially eaten carcass of a nyala wedged in the boughs above him.

"After a while, he went up the tree and started pulling on the kill, and we realized that the nyala’s leg was hooked on a branch and he couldn’t move it," Sonnenberg explained to Latest Sightings who recently uploaded the footage to their YouTube channel.

Leopards often stash their kills in the safety of the treetops where they are out of reach of most rival predators. It's a talent that requires significant strength and a bit of finesse. Evidently, it doesn't always go to plan.

With the carcass clasped between his jaws, the big cat attempted to leap between branches, but the leg of the nyala was firmly snagged in a fork of the tree and refused to give way completely. Instead of relocating the carcass the leopard wound up dangling a few feet off the ground clinging to the head of the nyala, thrusting and gyrating in an attempt to free the wedged meal.

It was only a matter of moments before he came tumbling down to the ground," Sonnenberg explained. "We were all stunned, excited, and in awe."

The leopard was spotted limping after the ordeal and may have sustained a slight injury. It wasn't enough to deter the determined cat though – he was seen later that afternoon feeding on the carcass having successfully transferred it to a different branch. By the next morning he had eaten his fill and was found resting in the grass nearby.

Top header image: Mihael Hercog/Flick