Robbers Force Leopards Up Trees

[This story first ran on BBC Earth, 24 April 2017]


Many animals, including Africa’s Big Five, roam the savannas of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa. Sometimes, these animals turn up in unexpected places. Such as the young giraffe that game guides found up in a tree—hung over a fork, dead.

A large male leopard straddled the giraffe, its mouth blood red. Apparently, the leopard had hoisted the giraffe several meters up the tree. The cat feasted for a few days, leaving only bones, skin and bits of flesh scattered around.

The giraffe weighed 300 kg, about five times heavier than its killer. To match the leopard’s strength, a man would have to heave almost 2000 Big-Macs[1] up two floors in one go.


[1] Average American adult weighs 80kg; a Big Mac weighs 0.22kg. So, 5*80kg = 400kg ~= 1820 Big Macs.


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