Beverly Joubert: It was an incredible privilege [befriending a baby leopard]. I mean, how can you not enjoy that? But we knew that there was a fine line, and we didn’t want her to get so complacent around humans that one day it could hurt her.
Dereck Joubert: It’s at first gratifying to have that trust, because I think that one of the things we’ve lost — over the 60,000 years that we’ve been in this sort of shape and form as humans — is we’ve lost that trust with wild animals. We’ve persecuted them for a long, long time. So to have an innocent leopard suddenly break through that and realize that she could trust us — and us specifically — that’s very gratifying, but it comes with a huge burden, because then she could walk to another vehicle, jump into that and they wouldn’t react the same way. So we had to be very careful about that.