Watch a Lioness Battle a Leopard for Dinner Atop a 25-Foot Tree and Come Crashing Down

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: October 20, 2023
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Key Points:

  • This article covers a short video clip of two animals fighting high up in the branches of a tall tree.
  • The branch eventually breaks, and two big, wild cats fall to the ground.
  • Both animals are stunned but only one walks away with a meal!

Lions employ a number of hunting tactics that are often caught on film. A group of lions (called a pride) may chase after an animal, a lone male lion may ambush his prey and lions will happily scavenge carcasses if they come across them. But a lion climbing very high into a tree to steal a carcass from a leopard is quite an unusual and startling sight!

Check Out The Entire Video Below!

Battle at the Top of a Tree!

This video is short but intense! You see the two animals fighting high up in the branches of a tall tree. There is quite a lot of leaf cover and it is not always easy to see what is going on but you get quite a good view of the lioness and what is left of the carcass.

The combined weight of these two magnificent animals is eventually too much for the branch to hold. An adult female lion can weigh up to around 350 pounds and a leopard can weigh up to around 200 pounds. The lion, the leopard, the carcass, and the branch come crashing to the ground.

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The leopard immediately leaps up and runs away – it clearly feels less comfortable about taking on the lion now that they are out of the tree. The lioness looks a little stunned about what has happened but is at least left with the food so it’s been a successful venture for her!


Leopards often hide their kill in a tree away from other predators


Leopards Storing Food in Trees

Leopards are well aware that both lions and hyenas will take their kill away from them if they can. To overcome this, they have adopted the technique of hiding their catch in trees in a practice that is sometimes called ‘lardering’. It allows the leopard to eat the meal over a couple of days and leave it whilst it goes to get a drink. This leopard was not expecting a lion to climb quite so high to get at the meat.

Some lions are quite happy to hang around on the larger branches of a tree but they are not as well built for tree climbing as leopards. They are not as light or as nimble and agile. Leopards can haul very large carcasses up into a tree so this lioness may have secured a good meal!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © nwdph/

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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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