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Big Cats Catch Big Fish – Watch a Leopard on a Fishing Expedition

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: September 16, 2022
© Soren Wolf/
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Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

The beautiful leopard is termed the opportunistic hunter of the big cats– they tend to make the most of whatever prey they stumble across. Some other predators, like lions, use up a lot of energy chasing their prey but leopards have a more laid-back approach. They lie in wait in trees or in bushes, where they are perfectly camouflaged.

Then, they ambush their prey which includes deer and warthogs, birds, beetles, rodents, reptiles, and sometimes fish! This has allowed them to avoid intense competition for certain food sources. If one food source is rare, they simply choose another and this partly explains why they are not yet a threatened species. Diet diversity is good for survival!

Leopard Fishing For Lunch

We see that calm and patient approach to hunting displayed in this charming footage. It was captured on a river at the Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana. The leopard manages to coax a fish out of a small cave in a drying part of a seasonal river. This is a young male leopard and will mainly live alone. Leopards reach sexual maturity at about 2 years of age and live for about 15 years.

He does not have an easy time catching this catfish, which puts up a brave fight. But, eventually he prevails, and carries his trophy away from the river. It is typical for leopards to take their prey to a quiet place so that they can eat it in peace. This may even be up a tree!

Catfish in Rivers in Africa

There are nearly 3000 different species of catfish. They are found all over the world and are not yet a threatened species. Catfish tend to live towards the bed of rivers where they eat fish, invertebrates and eggs. They are very good at getting information about their surroundings because they have prominent whiskers on their face and an elaborate network of chemical receptors all over their bodies. This individual, however, had found themselves in a tight spot and could not get away!

We do have a word of caution, however, for our intrepid leopard. In Africa, there are several species of electric catfish, especially around the Nile River. They have an ‘electric organ’ which can discharge a shock of up to 450 volts. This is deployed to defend themselves and capture prey. This leopard is lucky that he has not stumbled upon one of these sparky fish!

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Next Level Leopard Somehow Catches an Eagle

This Young Leopard Hunting Has No Idea He’s The Target

Watch a Leopard Accidentally Hunt a Hippo, and Return Later for a Meal

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© Soren Wolf/

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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