They Were Almost Killed by a Leopard, Until They Smashed a Birthday Cake on It

A sweet escape. 
Shamani Joshi
Mumbai, IN
These Guys Escaped a Leopard by Using a Birthday Cake
Collage: VICE / Images: Abhishek Jadwani / 500px / Getty (left) and Aneta Pawlik / Unsplash (right)

Earlier this week, Firoz Mansuri and his brother, Sabir, left their home in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh for another town to get a birthday cake for Firoz’s son. They returned without the cake, but with a chilling story instead. 

A leopard attacked and would have killed them, they said, if they hadn’t let the animal have their cake.

The brothers were on their bike riding back to their hometown of Burhanpur – two-pound birthday cake in tow – when, suddenly, a leopard sprang out of a sugarcane field and began chasing them, they told local media.


The leopard gave Firoz and Sabir a relentless, ferocious chase as the road led through a rough patch, giving the beast an advantage. It caught up with them, scratched their bike, and started clawing at the cake box in Sabir’s hand.

At that point, according to the brothers, it was either the cake or their lives. Sabir, who was riding pillion, bashed the leopard with the cake.

“You want it, here, have it,” he told The Times of India, recalling the decisive moment. Stunned, the leopard let go and darted back into the fields – without sampling the cake.

“The leopard had followed us for over 500 metres. We narrowly escaped death,” Sabir later told forest officials. 

At first, the officials were hesitant to believe the brothers’ account, but they later found leopard pugmarks on the road.

“Your first instinct when you sense danger is to do whatever you can to save yourself. That's what they did,” a forest official told AFP.

India is home to almost 13,000 leopards, with the highest concentration in Madhya Pradesh. The leopard population increased by 60 percent between 2014 and 2018 due to conservation efforts, according to reports

There have been multiple reports of leopard attacks in the state. In March, a 10-year-old boy survived one such attack. That same month, a leopard strayed into a residential area in the city of Indore and injured five people, including an infant, before being tranquilised and captured. 

Last month, a leopard snatched a four-year-old girl from Kashmir, triggering an ongoing hunt for the animal. 

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