Some questions of unexpected battles in nature are fuel for fierce debate: gorilla vs rhino? Eagle vs octopus? Squid vs pterosaur? One fight you think would be a little easier to call is leopard vs frog, but a video has emerged on Twitter showing that sometimes the pendulum does swing in favor of David over Goliath.
The footage posted by Indian Forest Service official Susanta Nanda shows an intrepid leopard approach what looks a bit like a bullfrog, though it's not entirely clear. One Twitter user tried to explain the leopard’s nervousness as the result of its prey being “a poison dart frog” which ” produce skin secretions” and the leopard must have “walked back after realizing the threat posed by the frog”. However, as another Twitter user was quick to point out, poison dart frogs are found in central and South America, where leopards are not, and also look absolutely nothing like the amphibian in the video.
The tweet doesn’t give the exact location of the video meaning the battle might have taken place in a zoo, skewing the frog species available to the curious leopard. In the wild, leopards have a wide range across Africa and parts of Asia so, given the anuran’s appearance it would most likely be an African bullfrog. As the clip begins, the leopard can be seen repeatedly pawing at the frog, which refuses to go down without a fight, aggressively charging open-mouthed at the large cat.
In the post Susanta writes, “Times are changing.....Unbelievable fight between a frog & leopard. And see who wins.”
Somewhat put off by its target’s sassy attitude, the leopard retreats leaving the victorious frog to rage another day. The leopard appears to be a juvenile, which might be why it's so easily spooked, and it’s not uncommon for big cats to toy with their prey rather than killing it. Whether the leopard was put off by the frog’s fierce display or simply wasn’t hungry for wet frog is unclear, but I think it’s safe to say that bullfrog must have hopped away feeling like a hero.