Even Mighty Eagles Aren’t Safe When Leopards Can Climb This Well

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Updated: October 19, 2023
Share on:

Leopards are big, furry cats with a reputation for having stunning rosettes of spots all over their golden bodies. These big, robust predator cats are relatives of tigers, lions, and jaguars. One of the most charming personalities in the Panthera genus, the leopard is sly and cunning. This video shows a rare occurrence – a leopard preying on an eagle!

Watch the Incredible Video Now!

Leopards eat more than 90 different species since they are not choosy eaters. Although ungulates like antelope, gazelles, and impalas are the carnivores’ preferred food sources, they also consume numerous other species that may surprise us. 

Leopards will pursue less appealing but more plentiful animals when food is in short supply. With its ability to alter its taste buds and foraging strategies to match the local food supplies, the big cat is also able to flourish in a range of ecological environments.

2,032 People Couldn't Ace This Quiz

Think You Can?

When going to Kruger National Park, visitors often see a variety of wildlife. One afternoon, a group spotted a leopard climbing high in a tree. This particular species of huge cat frequently stores its kills in trees. They shield their food from potential scavengers and other animals who might come and grab their prized catch by dragging it up into the branches. Particularly, hyenas are involved in a lot of leopard theft. 

Leopards have bodies that are made for climbing; they have strong back legs that can carry them into the air, strong back muscles, and sharp claws that can readily pierce tree bark. In addition, they have a low center of gravity and relatively small body size, both of which aid in maintaining balance. This implies that they are able to scale trees much higher than even the most daring tree-climbing lions.

An Experience of a Lifetime

Close up angry leopard portrait

Leopards are not what one would consider picky eaters.


The feline in this video can be seen with a tawny eagle chick hanging out of its mouth. As the leopard attempts to navigate the woven branches, the bird fights for its life. Wildlife enthusiast Ally Bradfield witnessed the interaction. 

She says, “In 20-plus years of visiting the Kruger National Park every year, I have never witnessed anything like this before. I feel so lucky and privileged to have experienced it, and proud that I managed to capture the moment.” 

Eventually, the cat makes its way down the giant tree with its lunch in tow. Unfortunately for the bird, it succumbed to the powerful jaw of a leopard. Bradfield goes on to say about her experience, “The grass was too long for us to monitor the leopard after it had left the tree, but I was guessing he would be eating his well-deserved catch for a while. My advice would be to just enjoy and appreciate it. If you have a camera, keep calm, have binoculars and a camera or even a video camera on the ready.” 

The photo featured at the top of this post is © RealityImages/Shutterstock.com

Share on:
About the Author

Kirstin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering animals, news topics, fun places, and helpful tips. Kirstin has been writing on a variety of topics for over five years. She has her real estate license, along with an associates degree in another field. A resident of Minnesota, Kirstin treats her two cats (Spook and Finlay) like the children they are. She never misses an opportunity to explore a thrift store with a coffee in hand, especially if it’s a cold autumn day!

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.