Conservation Wildlife Management

Watch: 50 Baboons Beat Up a Leopard

"They showed no mercy at all”
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video baboons beat up leopard

The baboons attack as a group and throw the leopard off guard. Latest Sightings, via YouTube

Baboons hate leopards—and for good reason. The big cats are one of a baboon’s top predators, typically hunting the primates at night by climbing the trees where they sleep in large groups. It’s a different story when the sun is out, however, and a recent video filmed in South Africa shows that the large monkeys occasionally get their revenge.

The video, which was shared to the Latest Sightings Instagram page on Aug. 15, shows a troop of 50 or so baboons attacking a leopard in the middle of the road. It was filmed in Kruger National Park by Ricky da Fonseca, according to a post on Latest Sightings.

Fonseca explained that he was in a vehicle near the Tshokwane picnic site when he spotted the large male leopard strolling near the side of a road. As the vehicle pulled over and Fonseca got his camera ready, he noticed the troop of baboons in the middle of the road. He then watched as the leopard crouched in the grass and started stalking the group.

“As the leopard closed in on the baboons, anticipation hung in the air,” Fonseca said. “Suddenly, with a burst of speed, the leopard sprang from the grass in an attempt to catch one of the baboons off guard.”

The leopard’s attempt was over before it began.

As the cat closes in on the troop, one of the biggest baboons in the group runs straight at the leopard, blocking its approach. The two collide, and by the time they hit the ground, eight or nine baboons are already on top of the leopard. The rest of the troop then turns around, and within seconds, dozens of them are biting, kicking, and tearing at the leopard while it spins around helplessly on its back. The racket of baboon screeches and leopard roars is deafening.

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“They attacked as a troop,” Fonseca said. “This threw the leopard off, and they capitalized, surrounding it, screaming, and biting at it. They showed no mercy at all.”

The merciless beat-down continues over the next 10 seconds as more baboons jump into the fray while the leopard tries to kick them off. The cat is eventually able to get up and run away, but as the video ends, the baboons are still chasing after it.

“With a few bruises and cuts on his body, the leopard ran off,” Fonseca said. “Surely his ego was more hurt than his body.”