The hungry lion risked his life to climb a tall tree to snatch his prey from the leopard’s mouth.

When it comes to food, lions take the opportunity when they see one… but that rarely involves hanging from a tree! That’s exactly what happened to lucky tourists in South Africa’s Londolozi Game Reserve recently, when a lioness aimed for a leopard’s hard-earned meal.

In the world of big cats, trees are often leopard’s territory. The spotted cats’ smaller size makes them vulnerable to larger cats like lions or animals whose strength comes from numbers, like hyenas. But thanks to his amazing tree-climbing skills, the leopard had another option. In the high branches, the cats – and their lunches – are generally safe. However, sometimes, altitude just isn’t enough.

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Last month, hunting guide Sean Cresswell, along with two other Londolozi guides, tracked down a female leopard and her nine-month-old cubs, and the group stopped their vehicle to allow a A visitor observes a pair of kittens eating the corpse of a young man. kudu. The adult cat probably killed the antelope the night before.

After having eaten enough for the day, the cubs finally hide in some bushes to rest. The mother, meanwhile, begins her quest to move what remains of the flesh to the safety of a nearby tree.

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The main trunk was tilted, making it easier for the leopard to climb, then it returned to perch on its head to feed again. But the peaceful scene did not last long.

“A few minutes later, she suddenly became very alert, staring into space… She lost interest in her meal when she repositioned herself in the tree arch to have a delicious meal.” Cresswell wrote on the Londolozi Blog.

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Sensing that things were not far away, the leopard abandoned his carcass and cautiously began to plunge down the tree. Cresswell said: ‘It looked like she was stalking, but from a tree.

As soon as her paws touch the ground, the female leopard flees from unfathomable danger, quickly followed by her cubs.

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The tourists and guides stayed, and the group didn’t have to wait long before the culprit was revealed. Moments later, the silhouette of a lioness emerged from a nearby bush, and a second female followed closely behind. The scammers must have smelled the jumping toad’s hard-earned meal and are now eating their free lunch.

“Without hesitation, [the first lioness] followed the same path [the leopard] had taken just minutes before, straight towards the kudu carcass,” Cresswell said.

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Although lions are not known for their ability to climb trees, this behavior is not as uncommon as you might think. Lion cubs will often jump out of trees when they play (lighters help), and some parts of Africa take pride in that. Most adults will only try to reach for branches that are easy to reach, and this task for women is made easier by the tilt of the tree.

Cresswell said: “The lioness kept getting taller, she needed to get up. Her claws tore away patches of bark as her much larger body moved along the branches.”

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The hard climb is worth it. After winning her prize, the cat settled down for a few meals, but quickly became annoyed among the branches and decided to move her stolen meal to a more suitable location for her. . lion. .

As for leopards, both were discovered by rangers later that day, creating a lot of distance between themselves and the enemy. “Their stolen meal is nothing to worry about as the two have eaten somewhat and more importantly escaped any conflict with the two large lionesses: a successful day in the wild! ”

For more information on why lions sometimes climb trees, watch this video: