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Rider uses bike to fend off leopard

Most of us who cycle regularly in the UK are likely to have been chased by a dog or two while out riding but possibly not a leopard, let alone been attacked by one.

Usually a squirt from a bidon is enough to deter an excitable mutt from continuing its pursuit, but that wasn’t really an option for 39-year-old South African cyclist Pieta Ncube when a leopard took an unhealthy interest in him.

Pieta initially used his bike to fend off the beast when it attacked him as he cycled to work through bush land near the town of Brits in the country’s North West province reports the Telegraph.

He trapped the big cat’s front legs in the triangle of the bike's frame but the super-sized feline still managed to get its claws into his head before Pieta retaliated with a metal bar, handily attached to his bike, smashing the creature about the face until it beat a hasty retreat.

After a spot of self-administered first aid, Pieta called for assistance, prompting a  full-scale search for the would be man-eater.

Pieta is recovering from the ordeal that took place last week and will need regular treatment over the next three months to prevent his wounds becoming infected.