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I have spent 20 years hunting wild animals in the Sarawak jungles. The leopard is one of the most unpredictable animals I have ever come across. A cunning animal, it will change its direction for no obvious reason. Although I had faced numerous encounters with ferocious creatures, none scared me the way the leopard did, the day it attacked me.

On January 24, a goat was killed at a nearby farm. Two weeks earlier, farmers had reported missing livestock. A leopard had been seen around the area at dusk. On that very day, fifteen experienced men volunteered to track it. Before the hunting party arrived, I went out to look for the tracks. Without a thought, I left my rifle in the car and that was the worst mistake of my life. Unarmed, I was exposed to danger.

I stepped into the bushes where the goat was killed. Suddenly, I sensed danger from behind. I looked around and there, under a tree, all set to strike, was an adult leopard. I remembered my rifle and turned back to my car to get it.

Then it happened. The leopard leapt onto my back. I heard nothing when it hit me as it happened very fast. The impact was enough to set me off balance. For a moment I felt dizzy, as if the surroundings were spinning. I could not make sense of the things around me. They seemed to be blurring. Before I realized it, I slumped onto the ground with the leopard clawing at my back. I could faintly hear the grunting from the leopard. Although I could feel sharp pain all over my back, I still managed to gather enough strength to roll over. My sudden action took the creature by surprise - I had caused it to let go of me and I was free for a short time.

That was the best chance I had to run away. However, before I could do anything, the creature had grabbed my right shoulder. This time, the leopard became more aggressive. It was certainly not going to let me escape and started shaking me vigorously. The sheer strength of the mighty animal was incredible. There was simply nothing I could do to stop it. At that instant, I was sure I was going to die.

Without thinking, I placed my hand on the leopard's neck. I realized that to gain control over the animal, I had to act swiftly before it could overpower me. This was something I had learned from my past hunting experience. I never hesitated. I wrestled with the leopard's head and neck over my chest. Knowing that it was either me or the leopard, I had to fight for my life. There was no time to waste. With whatever strength that was left in me, I wrapped my left arm tightly round the leopard's neck, trying to choke it. Furious with my action, the animal let out a loud and deafening growl. In fighting back, it struggled with such force that I had to put more pressure on its neck.

A young man, who was a member of the hunting group, was scouting the area. Suddenly, he heard a loud growl. Sensing someone was in danger, he rushed towards the scene. He stood hesitatingly about three meters away from the leopard, not knowing whether he could shoot accurately. Frantically, I yelled at him to move nearer. Bang! The first shot went off target. Then the second shot hit the leopard in the spine. This time he did it. There was a loud growl before it went limp. Seeing the lifeless animal next to me, I was overcome with relief.

Looking back, I think the leopard had every reason to attack me. It was starving. When I looked straight into its face, I felt sorry. This was the closest encounter I have ever had with such a fierce animal.

From paragraph 1 :
  1.

Where does the writer hunt ?

   

From paragraph 2 :

  2.

(a) what had happened to the farmers' livestock ?

(b) " ... that was the worst mistake of my life."

 i. what was the mistake ?

 ii. why was it a mistake ?

   

From paragraph 4 :

  3.

(a) what threw the writer off balance ?

(b) which word means fell ?

   

From paragraph 7 :

  4.

(a) what made the young man rush to the scene ?

(b) why did the young man hesitate to shoot ?

  5.

In your own words, give two reasons why do you think the writer felt sorry for the leopard.

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Answers
 

1.

In the Sarawak jungles

 

2.

(a) A goat was killed and some livestock was missing.

(b) i. Leaving his rifle in the car.

     ii. Unarmed, he was exposed to danger. /He could not protect himself from the leopard.

 

3.

(a) The impact of the leopard leaping onto his back.

(b) slump

 

4.

(a) He heard a loud growl (and sensed someone was in danger).

(b) He was not sure whether he could shoot accurately from the distance of three meters.

 

5.

I think that firstly, he felt sorry he had to kill the leopard for doing what is part of the basic instinct of a predator, that is, to attack its prey for food. secondly, I think he felt sorry for the leopard because he could see that it had been starved, probably due to the way mankind had destroyed its natural habitat.

 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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