Approximately one year ago this video published by Latest Sightings received just over 9 million views on You Tube. Today, as a throwback Thursday we decided to rerun it, and look into the behaviour behind these two solitary species – the leopard attacking the python!
The first time I watched this, I was exhilarated! What was going to happen? And in essence, did the python actually stand a chance…?
According to Rickus Groenewald, Specialist Guide, a python is one “powerful muscle” which wraps the entire length of its body around its prey. They are constrictors by nature, which mean they will literally death-hug all life out of their prey! And by this in theory, they should certainly be able to kill an adult leopard.
However, the leopard has an added advantage of being a crafty and agile feline with four forceful paws and razor sharp claws. Throw in its sharp pointed teeth that can pierce through the toughest of skin, the chances of survival for a python is minimal.
Rickus says, “You can see in the clip that the leopard is very cautious and when it grabs the snake, the head of the snake is just outside the mouth of the leopard to limit a bite from the snake. The python is not venomous but a bite from this snake can cause severe physical pain.”
As mentioned both species are solitary animals by nature and therefore cannot risk any injury as they only have themselves to depend upon. Despite this, this video clearly indicates the opportunistic qualities of the leopard to take full advantage of any situation. Generally nocturnal by nature, the leopard is seeing preying by day upon a python that was most likely basking in the sun.
Also terrestrial creatures, the leopard ventures into unfamiliar territory after the python. In shallow water the leopard still stands a good chance by using it’s power to dominate the prey, but in deeper water he is no longer a sufficient hunter.
It’s always interesting to see how nature plays its course as is the case of this interaction between the leopard and the python – both struggling for their individual survival!