A woman I know was strolling in a zoo with her four-year-old son. There was no particular sound, just the usual chatter and the shoosh of traffic and children screaming at the monkeys on their moated island and mothers rebuking the children. She was walking in this world, and the next moment she knew she had been singled out. She knew, hackle and marrow, that someone was watching her. She turned and saw the sign that said leopard. In the cage was a cave. She couldn't see into the cave, but she knew the gaze emanated from that darkness. He couldn't hurt her. She knew that. She wasn't the dramatic type. But she looked to see where her child was, and kept him closer the rest of the afternoon.

Leopards are among the premier predators of human beings.
I wrote about them in Deadly Kingdom.



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