Here in America we’ve got mountain lions and panthers, and while there’s no denying each of those species is impressive, they can’t hold a candle to what their cousins are capable of.
Native to a huge range in Africa and Asia, leopards are undoubtedly one of the most impressive wild animals in both speed, strength, and beauty. Their orange fur and black spots serves as incredible camouflage in environments ranging from rainforest to grasslands and they use this to ambush their prey, which can be just about anything from fish, reptiles, and birds, to warthogs, antelope, and baboons.
At top speed, these 6 foot, 70-150lbs muscular creatures can reach 36 miles per hour in just two or three strides and can leap 20 feet forward and 10 feet in the air at a moment’s notice, which we’ve seen in full glory when one took out a monkey high in the treetops.
While all of that would already put them near the top of most impressive predators, they’re strength is what really sets them apart.
Leopards are thought to be seven times stronger than humans and are capable of carrying over three times their body weight, and if you need to see an example of what this actually looks like, let’s roll the tape on a nearly unbelievable video taken at the Lion Sand’s Game Reserve in South Africa.
The video starts with a leopard keeping watchful eye over the carcass of a rhino calf. Unfortunately, we don’t know if he happened upon it or was able to take it out by itself, but what it does next would somehow be more impressive than hunting it down.
The leopard grabs hold of the rhino with it’s almost supernaturally strong jaws and pulls the dead weight up into a tree to avoid scavengers coming along and stealing it’s dinner.
Sure, it’s not a full grown rhino, but at birth calves weigh between 75 and 140 pounds, and it doesn’t look like this one was born yesterday. At 6-9 months, a calf will weigh around 500-700 pounds, meaning they put on weight quickly, so just for sake of argument let’s assume this poor calf weighed at least 250lbs, but potentially much more.
Can you imagine not only picking that up with your teeth, but then scaling a tree and housing it safety in the air? Good luck doing that with some ropes, but just with your body? Forget about it.
Unfortunately, the cat does take a tumble just when it looked like he was safely off the ground, but if we know one thing about nature, it will be doing it again just a moment later.
There’s no rest for the wicked in the wild.