This Leopard Is Alarmingly Calm Walking Up to a Giraffe

Written by Alan
Updated: January 23, 2023
© Ondrej Chvatal/
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Looking at a leopard confidently walking towards a giraffe reminds one of the classic Goliath versus David story, given the size difference between the two.

This time, the giraffe knew about the leopard’s killing abilities and did not stay around long enough to test them. Instead, the giraffe scampered to the bushes as soon as it realized that the leopard was getting too close for comfort. 

One can tell from the video that the leopard was not interested in making the giraffe its lunch but was out to intimidate and show it who was boss.

Do Leopards Eat Giraffes?

Leopards hunt giraffes, but only young and vulnerable ones. An adult giraffe can be as tall as 18 feet and deliver a deadly kick using its hind legs.  

A single kick from its six feet long legs to a predator’s skull will deliver a death blow. 

Moreover, giraffes have excellent sight, which allows them to spot a predator from far and get away. 

Their long legs allow them to run as fast as 30 miles per hour. Their speed and 400-pound weight make them a challenging moving target to stop. 

All these characteristics make the giraffe a problematic target to hunt. Predators such as lions and hyenas kill giraffes because they hunt in numbers. 

Predators will only pursue a giraffe if the other less dangerous prey like zebras, antelopes, and warthogs are unavailable.

Hunting a giraffe is even more challenging for a leopard since it predominantly hunts solo. 

Leopards spend most of their adult life alone and would only be spotted with others when raising the young or mating. 

A leopard could hunt a wounded giraffe or kill a young one whose mother is distracted.

animals can kill a lion: giraffe at sunset
Giraffes’ long legs allow them to run as fast as 30 miles per hour.

©John Ceulemans/

How Do We Know the Leopard in the Video Is Not Hunting?

The leopard in the video isn’t showing characteristic leopard hunting techniques. Leopards are primarily nocturnal hunters. However, they are also opportunistic in their hunting. They stalk their potential prey until it is close enough to ambush it.

A leopard can dilate its pupils enough to see very well at night. Its nocturnal hunting habits explain why you rarely spot it during the day. 

It spends most of its days camouflaged and resting on trees as it awaits the cover of darkness to look for a meal.

But if a meal comes too close to the tree during the day, it will ambush and deliver a death blow from above. As an opportunistic hunter, the leopard will eat any flesh, including rodents, birds, fish, and even giraffes.

A hungry leopard may decide to hunt during the day.

Their preferred hunting technique is to stalk the prey until it gets within striking distance of about 30 feet. The leopard then launches itself suddenly, hoping to catch the prey by surprise and sink its canines into its neck or throat. 

Once dead, the leopard will carry the carcass up a tree where it can eat without disturbance from hyenas and other scavengers.

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© Ondrej Chvatal/

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About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

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