Aggressive lion climbs tree to eat antelope.qki

Dead Impala Torments Male Lion

A massive male lion found a leopard’s impala meal up a tree and thought it would be an easy snatch. But this impala, even though dead, still put up a fight!

A recent sighting in the Greater Kruger, had 30-year old Field Guide, Benjamin Scheepers and his guests sitting on the edge of their seats. Never before in his 13 years of guiding has he seen anything like this. A lion climbs a tree to steal a Leopard’s kill and then ends up having to share his meal with his brother!


From morning coffee to a tree-climbing Lion

“On a morning safari, we had stopped for some coffee and saw a mass of vultures circling an area nearby. My guests and I decided to go investigate. After entering the area, we found nothing until a Male Lion showed up and started sniffing around. This in itself was already a major win for us, as I had not yet been able to show my guests a male lion.”

Lion tries to detach Impala kill from tree

“The next thing we knew, this male started trotting towards a tree and actually started climbing! My heart rose and I was in absolute shock. I repositioned the vehicle for everyone to have the best view. Unfortunately, I had missed the opportunity to get photos of the climbing.”

Male lion stealing Leopard's Impala kill
Male lion stealing Leopard’s Impala kill

Male Lion manages to successfully steal Leopard’s kill from a tree

Lion with Impala kill

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“Before we knew it, he was in the tree and had managed to get a Leopard’s, Impala kill. When he carefully came down, his brother moved in to get a piece of the kill. Of course, this gave off somewhat of a rumpus, but after a quick game of tug-a-war, both lions had a quick snack and went to take a nap in the shade.”

Male lions fighting over Impala kill

“There was no leopard around at the time and expectedly did not return.” This was fortunate, as the one advantage for Leopards is to hoist their food at an elevated level. This assists in avoiding the competition from stealing their prey. Generally, Lions are not known to be avid climbers, as their size and weight does not always allow them. But this again is just an amazing example of how Mother Nature does not follow the rule of thumb.



“I honestly did not know when to take photos and when to take videos and when to simply just appreciate what we had been fortunate enough to experience. This has by far been one of my most memorable sightings. I have never witnessed anything like it and will surely remember this for the rest of my life.”


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