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

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: October 4, 2022
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Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

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.

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. 

Close up angry leopard portrait
Leopards are not what one would consider picky eaters.


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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.

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

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.” 

Take a look at the intense video from Latest Sightings below! 

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An Indian leopard relaxing on some rocks
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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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