If there’s one thing we’ve learned about non-US animals, it’s don’t mess with a leopard.
These 100 plus pound felines have a toolbelt of skills a mile long. They can reach a top speed of 36 mph in just two or three strides, leap 20 feet horizontally and 10 feet in the air, blend into all sorts of environments, are strong swimmers, and have enough strength to carry massive creatures without breaking a sweat.
Seriously, check out this video of one carrying a rhino, yes a rhino, up a tree. (Okay it was a calf but still…)
You’d think that would deter all creatures from trying to swoop in and steal one of their kills, but that’s not quite how nature works, especially on the Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa.
A group of tourists got to witness an incredible sight when their safari came upon a leopard guarding an impala it had recently killed. While they were taking that in in all its glory, another African predator started creeping close to see if they could steal a bite or two.
Hyenas are a weird mix of not quite a cat and not quite a dog. They are feliform carnivoran mammals, and while I can’t begin to truly break down what that means, the African Wildlife Foundation lists them as Africa’s most common large carnivore with a lifespan of up to 20 years.
Well, one of these strange but vicious animals decided to challenge the leopard for the impala, but rather than face this challenge head on, especially since hyenas are pack animals, the leopard decided to do the animal version of take his ball and go home.
He grabbed the somewhat hidden impala in its outrageously strong jaws and scaled a nearby tree pretty easily. Just a few bounds and he was well out of reach of the snapping hyena.
Seriously, it again blew my mind.
Leopards, man. Just another reason to not think us humans are so tough after all.