Watch a Leopard Give Up His Warthog When Two Male Lions Show Up

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Written by Rachael Monson

Updated: October 20, 2023

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We enter the Kruger National Park in South Africa to see a leopard attempting to kill a warthog. The warthog’s screams bring two huge male lions to the scene. One of the lions attacks the smaller cat and bowls it over. The startled cat flees for his life while the second lion runs in to kill the warthog. The lions take the kill and an onlooker yells “Has he gone? No, no, no!” We then cut to the leopard looking on from afar, panting after his near-death experience. It goes hungry but lives to hunt another day. What an exciting showdown!

Watch the Incredible Encounter Below!

While cheetahs are known for being devastating hunters, watch as this one gives up its meal for two other lions that responded to the distress call of the wounded animal seen in the video. Watch until the end, it may surprise you!

What do leopards eat?

Leopards choose from a variety of prey animals aside from warthogs. They prefer hoofed animals like antelope and gazelle. They also will eat smaller things like guinea fowl, lizards, fish, and even dung beetles. When they make a kill, they will usually carry the carcass up into a tree. They have very strong jaws, neck muscles, and legs that allow them to do this. The goal is to protect their meals from other predators. Lions and hyenas will steal meals from them. So will scavengers like vultures and jackals.

Leopard drinking water

Leopards prey on many animals such as warthogs, antelopes, birds, and fish.

Has a leopard ever killed a lion?

Let’s start with how these two big cats stack up against each other.

Adult lions outweigh leopards by a few hundred pounds.

Size

Adult leopards can weigh in at 66-168 pounds. Compared to a lion weighing as much as 550 pounds, leopards are at a huge disadvantage on the size front. Lions are also about twice the height of leopards. This height and weight advantage means that a lion could overpower the smaller cat with ease.

Speed and Endurance

Both cats can run very fast and are agile. The leopard wins the speed race topping out at about 40-50 mph. This means that it is much more likely for them to flee than to pick a fight with a lion, as we see in the video. The lion has much greater endurance due to its hunting style. The leopard might be faster, but if the lion continues to chase, it will tire out and be more vulnerable.

Special Skills

Leopards are excellent climbers and can even climb down trees face-first. Lions are much too heavy to climb well. This gives leopards a huge advantage should they want to drop from a tree onto the back of a lion to kill it. Yet, this situation is unlikely.

The lion has powerful paws that can knock a prey animal’s feet right out from under them. Using this tactic could allow the lion to get a good bite and make the kill.

So, has a leopard ever killed a lion?

The technical answer is yes. Leopards will kill lion cubs that trespass into their territory whenever they can. They see these youngsters as a threat to their ability to live, hunt, and breed. Lions will also kill any leopard cubs they find for the same reason. We couldn’t find any evidence of a leopard killing a lion much older than a few months. Lions are the clear winners in this fight should it occur.


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About the Author

Rachael Monson is a writer at A-Z-Animals where her primary focus is cats, big and small. She also works as senior veterinary assistant and has been in that field since 2012. A resident of Mississippi, she enjoys spending her off time playing video games with her husband and hanging out with her pets (a Bengal cat named Citrine and Basset Hound/Pomeranian mix dog named Pepsi).

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