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If you’re ever strolling around Africa, and you’re worried about lions, you should probably be more worried about leopards.

We’ve written several articles about leopards, and if we’ve learned anything, it’s clear that they’re scarily effective predators.

Why? Well, have you ever heard of a lion jumping down onto an impala from a tree? Or a lion  materializing out of nowhere to attack a bird?

No? Well, leopards have been documented displaying both of these behaviors, and these behaviors are by no means rare…

African leopard. Photo by Danh.

Like all big cats, leopards are ambush predators that rely on stealth and camouflage to capture their prey. Their beautiful black spots help break up their patterns in the dry, brown tall grass and the sun-dappled trees.

As the leopard creeps up on the gazelles, it lays flat on its belly and keeps a low profile. This allows it to slowly move towards them, and the tall grass makes it practically invisible.

The gazelles don’t suspect a thing until it’s too late. THIS is how a skilled hunter works.

This is also why you should give leopards the same amount of respect as (if not more than) lions.

To view the effectiveness of their stealth and camouflage, watch the video below.