When predator becomes prey. Tiger feeding on a leopard.

This video on Twitter shows a tiger feeding on a leopard in Ranthambore National Park, India. There is no unwritten rule between these top predators that they leave each other alone. The tiger is dominant and the top predator. In India, Arjan Singh raised three leopards who, he said, had "an instinctive dread of tigers". They would flee when they came across the scent of a tiger according to Mel and Fiona Sunquist in their book While Cats of the World.


Singh said that when he was out with one of his pet leopards a tigress crossed the road and he observed a change in the leopard's behaviour and "as we came within 50 yards of the point at which the tigress had disappeared, her demeanour changed entirely.". The leopard's "high-spirited desire to lead the way evaporated". He said that she went into a crouch as she "slunk towards the big cat's trail and disappeared into the bushes".

Note: This is an embedded tweet. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

The authors go on to state that leopards and tigers feed on the same prey species but when tigers live in the same area as leopards the "leopard generally feeds on a wider variety of prey, many of which are small animals or the young of larger prey species". 

Leopards avoid tigers at all costs. And the video shows us that tigers have no compunction in attacking a leopard and treating this big cat as a prey item when needed.

The leopard has to share the same habitat over large areas of Asia. This is described as being sympatric with the tiger. The tiger can be four times as heavy as the leopard. They will often feed on much larger prey than the leopard and this allows them to live in the same area without conflict.

Here is a photo sequence of another tiger killing a leopard.

From Quora.com.

Mel and Fiona Sunquist state that leopards are able to coexist with the dominant tiger by mainly avoiding the areas where the tiger operates and rests. And to achieve this leopards "need a supply of smaller prey and the vegetation type that enables them to avoid tigers".

One commenter on the Quora.com website believes that if a tiger ate a leopard, it would be cannibalism. Some people do think that there is an unwritten rule as mentioned between leopards and tigers but there isn't. Although tigers are not going to target leopards almost anything on four legs on the ground is a prey animal for a tiger.


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