Watch a Hunting Leopard Become a Scaredy-Cat 30 Feet up a Tree After a Baboon Charges

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Written by Sharon Parry

Updated: November 15, 2023

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© Soren Wolf/

More than three million people have viewed this leopard learn a valuable lesson. This nerve-wracking footage shows a leopard attempting to hunt a baboon up a tree — but things go very badly wrong! The baboon refuses to give up and turns around to confront the leopard in a very aggressive way that totally startles this big cat. As the leopard retreats, they lose their footing and end up clinging onto the branches in a very undignified way!

Things get even worse as the leopard’s front limbs slip from the branch and it plummets to the forest floor. Luckily, this cat has not used up all of its nine lives. At the end of the video, we see it sloping back into the undergrowth. Hopefully, it will take more care when it is around a baboon again!

Hunting Baboons at Night

close up of an olive baboon

Baboons are found in


and Asia, and spend most of their time on the ground.

© bowman

This footage was taken in the lower Zambezi National Park, which is located upstream from Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and stretches for around 50 kilometers along the Zambezi River. It provides a rich variety of habitats and is home to lots of large mammals including big cats, elephants, giraffes, zebras, and, of course, baboons.

Baboons are found in Africa and Asia and are very powerfully built animals. They can hunt and kill gazelle if they choose to. However, they have poor eyesight and if this leopard had chosen to hunt at night, they would have had the element of surprise and would have probably overpowered this baboon. Also, baboons spend most of their time on the ground and this would have been a more sensible place to try to hunt them!

Do Baboons Normally Take on Big Cats?

Baboon Teeth- Yawning Baboon

Baboons have sharp fangs and claws and occasionally dabble in a carnivorous lifestyle


In spite of their status as primates, baboons have a well-deserved reputation for violence. Unlike several members of that rather large family, they happen to indulge in a carnivorous diet and are especially fond of hunting young gazelles.

However, their predatory capabilities pale in comparison to those of lions and leopards which consider them prey. That said, male baboons do take every opportunity to antagonize leopards although they will flee to terminal branches to escape their aggression, in the event of any danger.

Leopard Hunting Style

Leopards are excellent ambush predators.


Leopards are skilled hunters. They are carnivores and prefer medium-sized prey. But the secret to the leopard’s success as a species is that they will eat just about anything. In fact, leopards will eat 90 different species, making it easier to list what they will not eat! This means that they are not dependent on any particular food source and makes them able to adapt to changes and loss in habitats better than many other species.

They are also excellent nocturnal ambush predators. So, why on earth the leopard in this video decided to hunt a baboon in daylight, we are not sure! Leopards hunt alone and have amazing hearing and eyesight. They move slowly towards their target in the same way as a domestic cat stalks a toy. Once they are around 10 feet away from their prey, they pounce with deadly speed and clamp their victim’s throat (or head) in their jaws until the prey gives in. Then, they drag it into a tree to devour it and store it for snacking on later!

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About the Author

Dr Sharon Parry is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on dogs, animal behavior, and research. Sharon holds a PhD from Leeds University, UK which she earned in 1998 and has been working as a science writer for the last 15 years. A resident of Wales, UK, Sharon loves taking care of her spaniel named Dexter and hiking around coastlines and mountains.

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