A LEOPARD holds a wine bottle between its giant paws and looks ready to take a drink from it.
The beast also grabbed a glass in its jaws, holding it by the stem, after gatecrashing a safari picnic.
It was drawn to the picnic basket by the smell of salmon canapés, said photographer Alan Hillen, 52
The driver with Alan and wife Michele, 49, later retrieved the Leopard’s Leap merlot and they toasted their day with it in Grahamstown, South Africa.
Alan said: “Seeing it all happen was just amazing.”
“The picnic boxes are kept on the rear of the vehicle and in them there were salmon canapés and other nibbles, along with a glass of wine to watch the sun going down.
“Obviously the leopard must have smelt the salmon canapes. It pulled the picnic off the back of the jeep and pulled it over to the side of the tree.
“The driver got out. The only thing they have for protection is a stick. They don’t carry guns or anything, so you sign disclaimers when you go into these places.
“He got out with a stick to try and scare it off and get the picnic back, but the leopard hefted at him and we laughed because he said, ‘I’ll let him keep it this time’.
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“He got back in and drove over to where we could watch it tearing the picnic apart.
“It was tearing the bag apart and next out comes a wine bottle. It had the paws all around it and had the top of the bottle [in its mouth] like it was trying to drink it.
“It’s one of those total one-in-a-million photographs. After that, it pulled the wine glass out as well. It walked around over to a tree with it.”
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