Watch This Leopard Race up a Tree to Escape a Grumpy Lion

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: November 21, 2023
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We don’t know what the leopard in this clip has done to wind the lion up, but it must have been pretty bad! The larger feline had no hesitation in chasing the leopard through the grass and looked like it was gaining on it. Luckily for the leopard, a tree is in the right place to save the day. Leopards are more agile than lions, and within seconds, the leopard has reached the safety of the higher branches. It happened so quickly that the lion was left at the bottom of the tree, wondering where the leopard had gone on earth! All the leopard needs to do now is leave it for an hour or so until it is safe to come back down.

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Do Lions Normally Attack Leopards?

Lions are carnivores with high protein needs, so they must eat much meat to stay healthy. They are willing to eat a large variety of prey, including buffalo, zebras, and giraffes. They will also eat smaller mammals such as mice and foxes. If they find themselves close to agricultural settlements, they are willing to steal cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and donkeys.

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Leopards would not usually be on the lion’s list of prey. This is because herbivores provide more suitable nutrition and more energy for lions. Also, eating another predator can be risky in contracting diseases and parasites. Having said that, if a lion could find no other prey, it would not turn down a leopard meal if that would stop it from dying of starvation.  

Why Do Lions Normally Attack Leopards?

Lioness with warthog piglet as prey

Lions are very protective of their kills.

©Wim Hoek/

Lions see leopards as competition. While both lions and leopards are accomplished hunters, they are also opportunists. If they get a chance to steal a carcass from another predator, they will do so. Lions are very protective of their kills and do not want to share them with leopards! If this leopard were hanging around the carcass, it would be perfectly normal for a lion to chase the leopard away.

It is also not unusual for lions to kill leopards. As far as they are concerned, they are eliminating competition for food and establishing their territory. In this regard, lions are pretty hypocritical. While they don’t like having their food stolen by leopards, they are perfectly willing to steal a kill from a leopard if they get the chance!

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

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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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