This Leopard Gives a Hyena the Cold Shoulder When It Tries to Provoke a Fight

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: February 2, 2023
© Ondrej Prosicky/
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It’s difficult to work out what may be going through the mind of this hyena. It clearly has an issue with the big cat and won’t let it go. So, why would the hyena be behaving like this?

Annoying a Big Cat Is Not Wise

Leopards are not really the sort of animal that you want to annoy. They are a medium-sized member of the Felidae family and are also called panthers. Leopards can be found in some areas across sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia and live in rainforests, grasslands and mountainous regions.  Their preferred method of hunting is to hang around in trees and then leap down on unsuspecting prey. This could be rodents, warthogs, deer or many other animals – leopards are not that fussy! Despite not being the biggest of the ‘big cats’ they have sharp teeth and claws, strong jaws and powerful bodies so they can inflict a lot of damage.

Javan leopard
Leopards usually hunt by leaping at prey from trees


Hyena vs Leopard

So, who would win if there was a fight between a hyena and a leopard? Firstly, on average, the animals are a similar weight and height (up to 190 pounds in weight and around three feet in height) although leopards are generally a bit larger. They can run at similar speeds (37 mph), and both have sharp teeth!

However, the big difference is that hyenas are used to having back-up from their pack mates whereas the leopard is a solitary hunter. If this encounter were to get physical, the leopard is most likely to win.

At the end of the video we are given a clue about why the hyena is so interested in this particular leopard despite being warned off with some snarling. It is likely that the leopard has made a kill and this is what is interesting the hyena.

Hyenas are excellent hunters and will prey on wildebeest or antelope as well as smaller animals such as birds, lizards, snakes, and insects. But they are also supreme scavengers and pick up the remains of animals left by other predators. This hyena may be aware that the leopard has an animal carcass near it – hidden from our view. The hyena thinks that it is now its turn to have a go at the carcass, but this leopard clearly has other ideas!

Next up:

Watch the Tables Turn on This Leopard After Catching a Baby Warthog

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

Watch a Leopard Make an Incredibly Brave Leap Between Branches to Catch a Monkey

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The Featured Image

Hyena in woodland
Hyenas are primarily scavengers and often steal food
© Ondrej Prosicky/

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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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