Watch: Python vs Leopard Face-Off In Kruger

Written by Kirstin Harrington
Published: June 17, 2022
© Alta Oosthuizen/
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The wild is home to various predators, and just about every animal is prey to another. In a once-in-a-lifetime experience, the Campbell-Harris family caught something truly jaw-dropping on film.

While on holiday to the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Michelle and Anton Campbell-Harris were enjoying their time at the park. The approximately 5 million-acre Kruger National Park, located about 260 miles northeast of Johannesburg, has some of the greatest exposure to wild creatures in Africa

The Big Five are all found here: buffalo, elephants, leopards, lions, and rhinos. This wildlife refuge is also home to Nile crocodiles, hippos, and uncommon species such as southern ground-hornbills and lappet-faced vultures.

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Kruger National Park will surely get you as close to wildlife as you can get. Michelle and Anton spot a python stretching far out from a body of water, almost as if it’s looking for something. Pythons are among the world’s biggest snakes. These large, non-venomous reptiles can grow to be 33 feet long and weigh anywhere from 7 ounces to 250 pounds.

The next thing they know, these lucky visitors witness a leopard approaching the slithery creature. The large cat seems curious and takes a seat next to the snake, just as Michelle asks, “What is he going to do?” 

Leopards, unlike lions, tigers, and jaguars, are the smallest of the big cats. Male leopards average 80 to 165 pounds, while female leopards weigh 46 to 132 pounds. It doesn’t take the feline long before he heads up the hill and faces the python head-on. 

The snake begins to retreat, knowing a battle could take place at any moment. A loud, rasping cough (dubbed a roar by others) is a leopard’s most distinctive verbalization, which has been compared to cutting through a tough bit of timber.

He begins to make this sound just seconds before attacking the python. Grabbing him by the neck, this cat drags the unlucky snake across the land before eventually letting him go. We’re unsure why the leopard gave up on the fight, but it doesn’t take long before round two. 

The sneaky python slithers its way into the water, camouflaging in the dark waters. While a great idea, in theory, it doesn’t stop the big cat from diving straight in! You’ll have to take a look at the unbelievable footage for yourself. 

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Watch an Eagle Hunt a Snake With Incredible Precision

The Featured Image

Python vs Leopard
Leopards are versatile hunters
© Alta Oosthuizen/

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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