apex of Grace
The perfect balance of grace, beauty and strength.
There is nothing like watching a Leopard leap the through trees. Of all the beautiful creatures of nature, none moves quite like the leopard. The perfect balance of grace, beauty and strength.
They move with such ease and elegance it is astounding.
To do something like that takes incomprehensible strength.
I saw this Leopard (in the piece to the left) leap almost 30 foot in a single motion. In one movement -
like it was nothing.
Did you know that Leopards can carry Zebra over twice their size up into the trees? They do this to keep their food safe from scavengers
and others predators (especially when feeding cubs).
Fully grown Zebra weigh up to 450Kg (1000Ibs).
To see a 70kg Leopard carry Zebra more than three times its weight some 20 metres vertically
is utterly astounding.
To do something like that takes
Leopards are incredibly powerful beings.
"See a 50 Kilogram Leopard drag a 60 Kilogram Antelope up a tree in its mouth,
you realise how strong that animal is.
A Lion could not do the equivalent".
- Kevin Richardson, The Lion Whisperer
Perhaps the most adaptable of all big cat species, and one of the few that are
still truly free roaming.
When not hunting from the ground, Leopards will wait patiently in trees to pounce on prey from above.
The Leopard is ferocious and powerful, but above all incredibly intelligent. They will even use Lions to help isolate larger prey, making their move only after the Lions have scattered, separated, exhausted and distracted a herd.
They are the masters of camouflage, choosing grace and precision over raw strength and power.
The Lion King?
The Lion is by far the most powerful of the African predators but a Leopard is not easily overcome, even by multiple Lions.
Whether in the Africa or Asia, the Leopard is always near to the top of the food tree. Lions and Tigers can claim dominance over the Leopard .
It is a rare event to see a Leopard fight with Lions, for they are faster off the mark and usually well hidden. When they are outnumbered or overpowered Leopards will run high into
the nearest trees, but if forced to fight they are incredibly fierce.
A large male Leopard is able to defend itself against a single Lion so that they are rarely troubled, and an adult Leopard is powerful enough to resist a Lion long enough to make an escape,
but Lions do kill Leopards - especially when attacking in groups.
"A Leopard will carry an adult Gazelle and jump 50 feet up a tree
while making it look absolutely effortless".
There is one documented incident of a Leopard battling four female Lions for food, badly injuring the Lions and then surviving the encounter. This is extraordinary.
There are other documented incidents where a single Leopard defends itself against a whole pride of Lions for several minutes, then escaping virtually unscathed. Again, that is amazing. Especially considering the size difference between a Lion and a Leopard, the fact that Male Lions are used to fighting other big cats, and the fact it was an entire pride of Lions!
It is not that a Leopard will kill the attacking Lion, but that it can cause enough damage to endanger its life. A blind lion is dead in the long run, and a broken jaw means they can't hunt or eat. Wild Lions knows that Leopards can hurt them.
Lakota People's Prayer
Leopards have never been in more danger of extinction than they are today.
Because of human ignorance, greed and indifference we face losing this incredible and irreplaceable species forever. We must act now to preserve these treasures for future generations, or they may never have the chance to see them again.
Leopards have lost more than 80% of their natural habitat over the past 50 years. Populations have collapse by over 90% in the last 100.
The few remaining African Leopard habitats are shared between many other animals such as the Lion, Giraffe, Cheetah and Elephant. All of these animals depend upon the same natural ecosystems to survive; but those ecosystems are under constant threat and are not being protected well enough.
Habitat destruction is creating huge strain on existing ecosystems because as habitat is destroyed there is less and less food available to support existing populations. A collapse in prey populations causes increased competition between predators, leading to more conflict between herdsmen and predators as they are forced to attack cattle. Very often herdsmen end up killing the big cats.
We must stop all human activity that threatens the few remaining wild animal habitats and begin a massive program of ecological recovery centred around increasing wildlife populations, protecting clean waters sources, protecting against poaching and major reforestation projects.
habitat destruction is mainly driven by industrial agriculture, mining, oil & gas extraction, Chinese black market for wild animals, urban development, poaching,