Leopard… up a tree…

The leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull, but it’s an extremely strong and agile cat. It kills its prey and hoists it up a tree where it can feed for days undisturbed by hyena and, most time, lion. It can lift two to three times its own body weight and to see one with its prey climbing a tree is a very rare privilege. The females are territorial and the males roam between these territories, in search of females ready for mating.

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Leopards are agile and stealthy predators. Although smaller than other members of the Panthera genus, they are able to take larger prey due to their massive skulls that facilitate powerful jaw muscles. Body length is between 95 and 165 cm, and the tail reaches 60 to 110 cm. Shoulder height is 45 to 80 cm. The muscles attached to the scapula are exceptionally strong, which enhance their ability to climb trees. Males are about 30% larger than females, weighing 30 to 91 kg, compared to 23 to 60 kg for females.

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Leopards are elusive, solitary and largely nocturnal. Home ranges for male between 30 and 78 square kilometre, and females 15 to 16 square kilometres.  There appears to be no overlap of territories between the males but there is an overlap with the females.

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The Kill is wedged in the tree where the leopard can feed on the carcass, Hopefully out of reach of a brave lion that might attempt to climb a tree.

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A female on the charge through the shrub, notice her difference head size to the male above.


Last photo courtesy of Son-in-law.

62 thoughts on “Leopard… up a tree…

      • I saw an amazing program about them … when I visit my mom once – she had all those animal channels.
        Their worst enemy is the lions .. they knick their captures. And also that if they don’t stop running their brain will overheat and they die. So beautiful to see them running.

  1. Spectacular photos Bulldog, absolutely love these and your wonderful write ups. What an amazing shot by your son-in-law too!
    Just to let you know too, I’ve nominated you for the Linda Mad Hatter Jesters Award, although I’m not sure you ‘do’ awards or not. It’s my way of saying how much I love your blog and enjoy your posts. Your funny posts always bring a huge smile to my heart and it is with this sentiment that I wanted to send this award your way. Here is the link so you can take a look! Congratulations Bulldog, you deserve it 🙂 http://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2014/02/18/award-part-two-fun-and-flowers-to-brighten-the-day/

    • Thanks TBM… don’t know if you went to Mpaathutlwa Mabuasehube when you were in Botswana, going there in April… one can easily share the camp with lion and/or leopard, no facilities, poop in a hole and don’t bother to shower cause there isn’t one… what a way to live…

  2. As usual, the pictures are amazing. I didn’t know that they pulled their kill up into the tree …. learn something new everyday! where did you manage to take such impressive pictures?

    • These are in the Kruger National Park… a favourite place of mine… although I think it could change… we are heading to a place called Mpaathutlwa.. Mabuasehube where lion and leopard could easily be your camp companion… exciting… this is in Botswana in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park…

  3. Great to see the photos of the leopard in its natural environment. And I always enjoy reading your snippets of knowledge and information.

  4. These are absolutely incredible!!!! I cannot wait to share them with the kids. The photos…the stats…an incredible post!! It amazes me that you live in such a place; you truly are blessed, Bulldog!! Thank you for sharing that great blessing with us. I know to my family it has meant a lot! Knowing the person who has taken the photos changes things greatly somehow in a child’s mind. You are accessible, so the world becomes accessible, too. I hope that makes sense–just woke up. 🙂

    Thank you, Bulldog!

    • Thank you Skye… it does make sense… there are a few DVD’s we watch of animals, that we know the film makers, somehow it just makes those films more alive… thanks for the complement… glad the kids enjoy the photos, might encourage them to travel here one day…

  5. WOW. What photos! Just absolutely gorgeous and show us the actual life of the leopard. I could only dream of getting that close. These really are fine photographs, Rob. You’ve got rock-steady nerves to hold the camera still enough to compose and shoot these kinds of images of a leopard, NOT your garden variety Putty Tat…. 🙂

  6. I have said this before and I repeat it again: Move over National Geographic, Bulldog is in town. Stunning just stunning photoshoot of this animal manifique..! Gold medal award to Bulldog.

  7. wow – I did not know all that about the leopard – you are a mine of information as well as a talented photographer. It would seem it runs in the family also as great shot by your son-in-law too – bit of competition there eh! Healthy competition of course – and you are currently winning 🙂 (don’t know how to do the winking face……)

  8. Fantastic! This may be my favorite of all of your great posts that I’ve seen so far. I love these photos, including the one your grandson took. Well done, bulldog!

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