Watch a Zebra Finally Say ‘Enough!’ and Bolt After a Menacing Leopard

Written by Sharon Parry
Updated: August 30, 2023
© abxyz/
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Key Points

  • Blink and you’ll miss it! Zebras and leopards fight for their lives in the savannah, and someone caught it on video.
  • Zebras might be a nice meal for leopards, but these animals can engage in antipredator behavior by attacking the leopard with teeth and hooves to protect their babies.
  • Leopards are often solitary hunters, so they can’t take on aggressive zebras. They tend to attack foals and sickly ones instead.

Everything happens so fast in this clip, it is not easy to work out what is going on. There is what looks like a mother leopard and her cubs in amongst a group of zebras. It is not unusual for a mother leopard to take her older cubs with her so that they can learn how to hunt. However, suddenly one of the cubs gets spooked and breaks cover. This, in turn, spooks one of the zebras who gives chase. The video is slowed down so that you can appreciate just how athletic both of these creatures are. Scroll down to watch the whole clip and see if you can work out what’s happened here!

Do Zebras Normally Chase Leopards?

Zebra mother and foal, nursing. Serengeti, Tanzania
Female zebras are highly protective of their foals


Surprisingly, there are numerous clips online of zebras chasing leopards. Sometimes, the leopards take refuge in trees. This is called ‘antipredator behavior’ and is basically a type of defense. It is normal for groups of female zebras to form tight associations and hold their ground against predators. Often, a mother and young calf will be shielded by others in the group. Both stallions and mothers will mount active defenses, which can include attacking with their teeth and hooves. These strategies are highly effective against many predators.

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Though they will fight, zebras are known to alert one another of a threat and run away from their predator as a tight herd, which often either confuses or simply intimidates their attacker. 

What Do Leopards Normally Eat?

Amur leopard eating meat and looking straight forward
Leopards are carnivores and eat a variety of animals.

©Dmitri Gomon/

Leopards are carnivores and either kill other animals or feed on the carcasses of animals caught by other predators. Their diet varies by where they live but they eat a very wide range of other species. This means that leopards that live in forests eat medium to large prey including primates. In contrast, those that live in the Western Cape Mountains of South Africa target smaller prey such as rock hyrax.

A zebra is a considerable challenge for a leopard. Because they hunt alone, they do not have the combined power that a pride of lions would be able to produce. Therefore, leopards tend to only target zebra foals or sick or injured zebras. It also means that zebras are quite brave about driving them off.

Watch the Incredible Footage Below!

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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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