May 28, 2022

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View: Leopard’s narrow escape from a lion on the prowl | Animal Behaviour

Leopards are among the the most secretive of the major cats and appear to be to have an uncanny consciousness of their environment which lets them to soften absent undetected. But even these experts in elusiveness allow their guard down on occasion. Current footage from South Africa’s Sabi Sands Personal Match Reserve demonstrates a leopard only scarcely escaping the clutches of a lion that managed to stalk in metres of the noticed cat before launching a demand.

Safari guide Ahmed Laher was having company on an early morning sport drive when he came throughout a leopardess resting under a tree. “We sat and viewed her for about 20 minutes,” Laher spelled out to Latest Sightings. “She ultimately acquired up and was in stalking mode and extremely focused on what was ahead of her.” With the leopard entirely engrossed in ambushing an impala for breakfast, a male lion was able to little by little creep up from some distance absent – his existence undetected by the preoccupied leopard.

“It was nail-biting as he [the lion] saved finding closer and closer,” Laher recalled. “He was silent and closing in on her inch by inch.” At last, immediately after an intense and cautious approach, the lion designed his move and lunged in direction of the leopard with a guttural snarl. The leopard spotted the advancing threat just in time and retreated into a thicket in advance of bounding up a tree to relative security. Adult lions are too weighty set to be achieved climbers and the leopard clambered to the best place of a tree the place it can be unlikely the much-more substantial cat would adhere to. She remained in her lofty retreat even though the lion dozed at the foundation of the tree. “He eventually bought exhausted of ready for her and wandered off,” Laher discussed.

In a lion-leopard encounter-off, the bigger of the two species has a definite advantage. Even the largest leopards are at the very least 20 kilograms shy of the smallest lions. So when leopards experience their tawny adversaries in the wild, their 1st instinct is to flee, typically into the basic safety of the treetops.

In some locations, lions may be liable for as considerably as 20% of all leopard mortalities, so it is really crucial for the more compact cats to steer obvious of their more powerful rivals. For the most portion, the two species stay out of each individual other’s way: leopards commonly concentrate on compact- to medium-sized prey, though lions choose for a lot more sizeable quarry like adult buffaloes. 

Leading header picture: Jessica Shippee/Flickr

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