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Leopard Falls Directly Onto a Hyena with its Prey

Leopard in a tree
Leopard lying in a tree. By Sumeet Moghe WikiMedia Commons

A recent video captures the moment a leopard, in a desperate attempt to hoist its prey up a tree, loses its grip and falls directly onto an unsuspecting hyena below. This incident showcases leopards’ raw strength and survival challenges and offers a glimpse into the complex interactions between predators in the wild.

Leopard in a tree
By Sumeet Moghe WikiMedia Commons

The Struggle in the Treetops

The video opens with a tense scene: a leopard, its muscles rippling under its spotted coat, is seen struggling to climb a tree while clutching a heavy prey in its jaws. This behavior is typical of leopards, who often haul their kills into trees to safeguard them from scavengers like hyenas. However, in this instance, the leopard’s usually impeccable climbing skills are put to the test by the sheer weight of its catch.

Leopard’s Remarkable Strength

Leopards are renowned for their incredible strength, particularly their ability to carry prey much heavier than themselves. According to the San Diego Zoo, these big cats can hoist up carcasses weighing more than twice their body weight into trees. This feat is a testament to their powerful forelimbs and strong jaws, essential adaptations for a solitary predator that relies on stealth and strength to survive.

Leopard up a tree with hyena

The Unexpected Turn

As the leopard inches upwards, a hyena emerges below, drawn by the scent of the potential meal. The presence of the hyena adds pressure to the already strenuous task. In a heart-stopping moment, the leopard’s grip falters. It tumbles from the tree, prey in tow, landing directly on the hyena. This rare occurrence highlights leopards’ physical challenges and their ecosystem’s constant danger and competition.

YouTube video
By andBeyondTravel

Leopards and Hyenas: A Complex Relationship

In the complex dynamic between leopards and hyenas, competition for food is a central theme. These predators often go for the same sources of nourishment. Direct confrontations, though uncommon, become more likely during periods of food scarcity. Hyenas, adept at scavenging, frequently challenge leopards for their kills. In response, leopards have adapted a unique survival strategy: they hoist their prey into trees, a skill hyenas lack.


This extraordinary video serves as a vivid reminder of the challenges leopards face in the wild. Their remarkable strength is not just for show but a crucial element of their survival. As we witness these dramatic moments, we are reminded of the fragility and resilience of life in the wild, underscoring the importance of ongoing conservation efforts to protect these magnificent animals and their habitats.

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