This Leopard Powers Through The Sand River in Africa

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Written by Hannah Crawford

Published: February 9, 2024

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Leopard drinking water
© Rudi Hulshof/

At one point or another, you’ve probably heard that all cats hate the water. And you’re envisioning the funny meme with a grumpy cat soaked in the bathtub. Well, there are many members of the Felidae family, and let’s just say not all of them hate water. Let’s see what this leopard does when he comes across a river in the video above. 

Leopard Spotted in Africa

The short YouTube clip shown at the beginning takes us to Africa. A tour guide or tourists captured video of a leopard by the river. The Mala Mala Game Reserve shared this video on their platform with close to a million subscribers. Their most recent video shorts are of birds of prey, elephants, and lions. 

Leopard Leaps Into River

At the start of the video below, we see an adult leopard down by the Sand River in the Masai Mara, Kenya, Africa. According to the Animal Medical Hospital Organization, “Various big cats like tigers, leopards, jaguars, lions, and ocelots are famous for cooling off in watering holes.” However, this leopard wasn’t here to cool off on this day.

He pauses for a moment as if to decide what he must do. He knows that he needs to get to the other side. Without a second hesitation, the leopard leaps almost a quarter of the way into the river. They can jump forward 20 feet! With skills like that, it is no wonder this leopard was able to power through the water as if it were nothing at all.

Are Leopards Good Swimmers?

leopard swim and play in the water

Leopards can weigh up to 200 pounds.

©jun chin/

When we look at the Felidae family in the wild, it is easy to be impressed with cats like lions and cheetahs. Lions have a lofty status as king of the jungle. Cheetahs are the fastest animals on land, reaching up to 70 miles per hour. 

However, we can’t discount the leopard. The San Diego Zoo shares, “Unlike most cats, leopards are strong swimmers and are one of the few cats that like water.” They can reach up to a running speed on land of up to 36 miles per hour. And with speed like that, it makes sense they can stand the weight of water by being able to charge through.

Think back to when you were a teenager in the pool with friends. And you’d try to race with them by standing on the pool ground and wading through the water. It’s not as easy as it looks, is it? Well, it looks pretty easy watching this leopard power through!

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About the Author

Hannah Crawford is a writer at A-Z Animals where she focuses on reptiles, mammals, and locations in Africa. Hannah has been researching and writing about animals and various countries for over eight years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Communication\Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College, which she earned in 2015. Hannah is a resident in Florida, and enjoys theatre, poetry, and growing her fish tank.

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