Does this footage feel familiar to anyone with a house cat? Apparently, even big cats like to sneak up on and startle others for no obvious reason.
This colossal male lion spotted a snoozing leopard from afar and decided it might be worthwhile to scare him — likely as a display of dominance.
Matthew Poole, a professional guide at Kirkman’s Camp in the Sabi Sands, watched the scene play out with his guests on a tour. “By far the rarest sighting in my guiding career!” he told Latest Sightings.
“After hearing a male leopard had been found we all got excited and headed into the area. The male leopard started to walk along the banks of the Sand river scent marking all the way. It was at this moment we noticed the male lion lying in the river on the opposite bank,” he said.
As guests looked on, it got even more exciting.
“I said to my guests ‘Can you imagine if these 2 dominant males came together’. It seemed as if my words weren’t cold because shortly after that the male leopard went to sleep and the lion started to stalk him from the other side of the river.”
Poole recalled that he had mixed emotions as this sighting started to unfold, realizing the lion could potentially kill the leopard if he wanted to. Thankfully, the scuffle ended with the leopard alive and well, albeit a bit annoyed.
Leopards are one of the “Big Five” cats of the genus Panthera. The large spotted felids are renowned for their unique camouflage capacity, strength, and tree climbing abilities. And, although leopards are sizable cats weighing up to 200 pounds, they’re no match for a fully grown male lion.
Lions are the second-largest living cats after tigers, weighting in excess of 500 pounds. While they generally prefer to hunt large ungulates, they’ll sometimes kill other predators — though they don’t typically eat them.
Never a dull moment on safari.