Two-year-old boy mauled to death by leopard at family barbecue

These are the first pictures of the little boy who was mauled to death by a leopard at a family barbecue in Kruger National Park.

Two-year-old Courtney Ntimane was following his father back to their bungalow when the predator launched at him from the darkness.

Dad Isaiah, 35, had already gone inside but heard his terrified son’s screams and rushed back to find his son gripped in the big cat’s jaws.

The leopard ran back to the perimeter fence surrounding the bungalow with Courtney hanging limp in her mouth.

Eventually the animal dropped the child and jumped back into a tree it had used to enter the property.

Courtney was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

One photograph shows Courtney posing on a rock for his proud parents while a second shows him holidaying in Mozambique with his family.

Kruger National Park has arranged counselling for the family and will help with the funeral.

Press spokesman Ike Phaahla said: "On hearing of the incident two of our rangers went out to search for the animal and it was shot dead to remove the danger of another falling victim.

"There is interaction between animals and visitors to the KNP and this may result in species like a leopard getting habituated to people and losing their fear of them.

"The change in natural behaviour can then lead to unfortunate incidents such as this."

A post mortem on the killer leopard after it was shot dead revealed it was in very good condition with good teeth and no obvious injuries before its death.

Courtney’s funeral will be on Sunday at Mkhulu and will be attended by many rangers.

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