59-year old sheep herder: “My survival instincts saved me”

“When the first leopard jumped at me I could fight it off. However, then the second leopard attacked me. It was then that I realised I was in deep trouble. My survival instincts kicked in”, explained David Dantatzao in an interview with namib times this week.
The sheep herder Dantatzao made headlines after he was attacked by two leopards on Monday morning on a farm in the Karibib district. He survived, and managed to kill one of the big cats with his pocket knife and a panga.
According to Dantatzao he took the herd of sheep out of the kraal for grazing as usual on Monday morning at around 08:30. He is a sheep herder on the farm Domeb in the Karibib district.
“I walked behind the sheep as we approached a river bed. “I noticed marks on the ground of what seemed to be something that was pulled through the river and I thought it was maybe a jackal pulling an animal hide”, he explained.
He did not think much of it and returned to his sheep when he suddenly heard the dogs barking. “I was curious and went to look. When I walked around a tree my eyes met the two leopards”, he said.
Dantatzao realised he was now eye to eye with a big male leopard and a slight-ly smaller female. “They were about two or three feet away from me when I saw them the first time. The male stormed. It happened so fast. Luckily, I had a panga with me and I hit it on the mouth and it turned and ran away”, Dantatzao continued.
But it wasn’t over yet. The female leopard “seemed very angry” and ran towards the 59-year-old. “The panga fell out of my hand and the leopard jumped at me, scratching my face, arms and hands. I only thought of surviving”, he said.
Dantatzao remembers intense pain as the leopard’s nails cut deep into his flesh. “In the heat of the fight I remembered I had a pocket knife and I pulled it out”, Dantatzao said. He stabbed the leopard in the ribs and cut its throat. The animal collapsed and lay motionless.
The sheep herder immediately ran home to inform his family and friends of what happened. He told his son to go fetch the dead leopard so he had evidence of what happened. Dantatzao was rushed to the clinic at Karibib and immediately transferred to the Usakos State Hospital. He sustained severe lacerations on various parts of his body. “I am glad my survival instincts saved me”, Dantatzao concluded. Dantatzao is still recovering in hospital.
Detective Inspector Erastus Iikuyu, Nampol regional crime investigations coordinator for Erongo, confirmed the incident.

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