There was only one problem: the snake had inconveniently died wrapped in the branches of a tree, which meant getting it down was no easy feat.
However, it was a prize worth waiting for, and the leopard was caught on camera performing a one-sided tug-of-war in an attempt to dislodge the python from the tree.
This hungry leopard thought it had come across the lunch of its life when it found a dead python
However, freeing it from the branches proved to be a more difficult task than it had at first appeared
What ensued was a one-sided tug-of-war as the leopard tried to free its meal – taking bites as he went
Eating on the go, the leopard alternated between bites and dragging it further out from the branches.
At one point, it looked like all his hard work might have been in vain when the ginormous reptile became stuck in the tree.
But the leopard’s determination – and hunger – won out.
He considers his options before jumping up into the tree before finally loosening the snake completely.
The stunning series was captured by photographer Villiers Steyn, at Sabi Sands reserve, which sits on the border of the Kruger National Park.
It almost ended badly for the leopard when the python refused to be wrestled any further from the branches. But the big cat was not to be put off, and climbed into the tree to free the massive snake
Villiers, 33, said: ‘Rumour had it there was a dead python in one of the trees, so that morning we decided to go and have a look and found this massive male leopard feeding on the snake.
‘I’ve never seen a leopard and a snake in the same frame, let alone a stunning male like this tugging at a monstrous python!
‘Once he took it out of reach of other predators and scavengers, he finished it off in peace and quiet.’