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I knocked out a LEOPARD with a 30-jab combo after beast burst into our tent…blood gushed from my fists as I laid into it

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A FATHER who was attacked by a leopard has revealed how he saved his and his partner’s life – by striking it with his bare hands.

Gavin Allderman and Jill Sheard had been camping atop their safari truck in Botswana when they heard an ominously close growl.

Gavin Allderman bravely fought against a leopard - and won

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Gavin Allderman bravely fought against a leopard – and wonCredit: Facebook/Gavin Allderman
The terrifying animal tried to claw its way into his tent

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The terrifying animal tried to claw its way into his tentCredit: Facebook/Gavin Allderman
Gavin punched the beast at least 30 times before driving away to safety

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Gavin punched the beast at least 30 times before driving away to safetyCredit: Facebook/Gavin Allderman
The leopard lay in wait and pounced when the pair had fallen asleep (file image)

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The leopard lay in wait and pounced when the pair had fallen asleep (file image)Credit: Sanbio.org

Gavin, from Cape Town, said that he secured motion sensor lights around his truck and clambered back in, with a false sense of security.

The father-of-two added that it didn’t take long for that to change.

The leopard lay in wait, taking the opportunity to pounce when he presumed the pair had fallen asleep.

At around 1.30am, Gavin was jolted awake by movement on the ladder leading up to the tent.

When Gavin realised the leopard had started climbing the ladder he started screaming and swearing at it, but it was no deterrent.

The leopard sprung into gear, scrambling up the last few steps and launching himself directly onto the tent.

He said: “His claws were gripping the thin fabric and his head was inches from my face and I started punching it furiously in the face bare fisted fighting for our lives to keep it out.

“Both of us were shouting and screaming and Jill was hitting out at it with her pillow and her book as it pulled its head back trying to bite through the tent and its teeth were just inches away.

“I was aware of blood spattering about in copious amounts from my fist but just carried on punching and shouting with the adrenaline pumping through me as I fought for life.”

The frightened father added that the leopard didn’t make a single noise during the entire attack, all that could be heard was the sound of its breathing.

Shocking footage has emerged of a wild leopard going on an unprovoked rampage through a northeastern Indian town, injuring at least 13 people

Instead, it was hyper fixated on its mission, eyes locked onto its target, desperate to get inside the tent and have a meal.

Gavin said that he remains terrified of the attack now, revealing just how energy-draining battling the beast had been.

He revealed: “I must have used all my energy punching it at least 30 times and after what seemed an eternity the leopard withdrew back down the ladder.

“It must have lasted a minute or so and Jill took off a pillow slip and wrapped it round one of my fists to try and stem the flow of blood as we thought what to do to get out of there.

“I heard what sounded like the leopard jumping on the bonnet. It seemed like a horror movie. I thought we would be fighting for our lives all night through.”

Gavin recalled the leopard reappearing at the foot of the ladder – saying that he and Jill sprayed water at it, which had no effect.

He knew his only option was to try and drive them away.

Fighting through his fear, Gavin climbed out of the tent, dropped down to the other side and found his way to the driver’s door.

The brave survivor then managed to drive an incredible 3km to a neighbouring camp, with blooding pouring over him, and Jill still on the roof on top of the truck.

Having Jill sitting atop was useful though, Gavin said, as he got her to keep an eye out for the leopard as they made their way to the next camp.

It was only when the pair made it to the next camp and Jill was able to administer first aid that they realised how lucky they were to be alive.

Gavin said: “What a night! We realised how lucky we were to be alive. 

“My skin crawled as I realized just how close we had been and had driven off this killer with my fists.

“I grabbed a bottle of whisky and we both swigged it neat to calm down our jangled nerves.”

After reporting the incident at the Mabua gate of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Camp the following morning, Gavin received an anti-tetanus shot.

He told the officials and two vets that he usually keeps an axe and a driver’s knife with him when he camps on the ground – but let the habit slip due to the false sense of security he felt.

Leopards may be the smallest of African big cats, but they are still exceptionally powerful beasts who can reach speeds of 40mph and jump around 20ft high.

It is understood that leopards tend not to attack humans without provocation, but the lucky survivors suspect that this animal was desperate for food.

The attack happened at the Bosobogolo Camp in the 15,000 sq-mile Kgalagadi Park in the Kalahari desert which is inside both Botswana and South Africa.

Gavin has been visiting the park for 43 years and said: “This was my closest leopard sighting though!”

The father-of-two vowed to return next year and went on to wish the leopard well.

He said: “I feel very sorry for it as it was clearly starving and desperate to attack us. 

“But that said I would go back there tomorrow it is the most beautiful place. Once you are in the Kalahari it is so remote it is just you and the wild animals.

“There is no other place like it. Jill and I will be back there again soon.”

One model has had to undergo three separate surgeries after being mauled by a leopard during a photoshoot in Germany.

Jessica – who is also known as Lady Butterfly – told local media at the time: “It repeatedly kept biting my cheek, ear and head.”

“I’ve experienced double vision each time I looked to the ground. When I turned right or left, my vision became blurred.”

And in July 2022, a six-year-old girl was found brutally killed by a leopard in her home town of Kashmir, India.

She had been playing outside her home on Friday when the leopard is reported to have struck – carrying her away into the night.

Locals followed the sounds of her screams and rushed into the darkness – only to find her dead from her injuries after 30 minutes.

Gavin said he was very lucky to have escaped with just a few scars

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Gavin said he was very lucky to have escaped with just a few scarsCredit: Facebook/Gavin Allderman
Gavin had been sleeping atop his truck when the leopard struck

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Gavin had been sleeping atop his truck when the leopard struckCredit: Travel Taale.com
Gavin said he will be returning to the camp where he was attacked

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Gavin said he will be returning to the camp where he was attackedCredit: Facebook/Gavin Allderman

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