Thanks to our solar system's disparity with the Gregorian calendar, today is February 29th ... yep, it's Leap Day! Fun fact: for those of you slaving away in an office right now, if you get paid according to an annual wage, you're working for free. Bummer, right? So to cheer you up (now that we've bummed you out), here are eleven epic animal leaps perfect for Leap Day.

Impala Leaps to Safety

Getting up close with nature is all fine and well, but this might be a little too close! A group of tourists in South Africa's Kruger National Park got more than they bargained for when an impala (left with no other option) leaped into the backseat of their vehicle to avoid the claws of two hungry cheetahs in hot pursuit. After its release from the SUV, the impala happily walked away to rejoin its herd while the cheetahs looked on from the sidelines.

Leopards Leap

Talk about getting thrown in at the deep end! In South Africa's Kruger National Park, a leopard mom has some pretty formidable lessons in river crossing lined up for her young cub. Daredevil leaps ensue … we can barely watch!


Think octopuses only hunt in the water? Think again! This awesome footage of an octopus leaping from a tide pool for a nice crab dinner was shot in Western Australia. It might seem strange, but most octopus species can survive out of water for 30-60 minutes, allowing them to slink from pool to pool in search of food when the tide goes out.

Cliff-diving Monkeys

Cliff diving, anyone? Looks like humans are not the only primates who like to dabble in extreme sports just for kicks. This adventurous troop of monkeys was captured on camera jumping into the sea at Khao Takiab, Hua Hin, Thailand.

Catching a Caiman

The local name for jaguars, "yaguara", means "a beast that kills its prey with one bound" – and we certainly get to see that play out here. In this short clip posted to YouTube last year, one of these apex predators can be seen leaping into the water in pursuit of an invisible target: a fully grown caiman. Jaguars rely on surprise before dispatching prey with extremely powerful jaws and teeth – unlike other big cats, they often kill by piercing the skull with their canines (a technique that also works well for "cracking open" turtle shells).

Seal Fling

Okay, this one is less 'leap' and more 'fling', but it's pretty astonishing, so we couldn't leave it out. In this remarkable footage filmed off the coast of Victoria, Canada last year, a male killer whale known as T69C (which, rather aptly, sounds like the model number for a Terminator) sends a Pacific harbour seal hurtling 80 feet (20 metres) into the air with a casual flick of his tail. Skip to 00:29 for the action.


Some deer are better than others at scaling fences … As this huge herd of elk makes its way across a road in Bozeman, Montana near Yellowstone National Park, one straggler has a bit of trouble getting over the tricky obstacle. After several gangly attempts, it takes a little scare from a passing vehicle to coax the animal into a run-up that finally results in success.

An Ill-fated Leap

Sadly, this impala's impressive leap turned out to be its last. Filmed at Sable Dam in South Africa's Kruger National Park, the antelope hurled itself unsuspectingly into the jaws of a massive crocodile waiting in ambush near the water's edge.

Monkey Pool Party

Filmed at a home near the city of Durban in South Africa, these monkeys seem to be having one heck of a pool party (all they're missing are the margaritas). Although it may come as a surprise to those who are more accustomed to seeing vervet monkeys leaping through the trees, these primates can (and do) swim.

Hunting Humpbacks

Yup, whales can leap too. It looks like these Norwegian fishermen have big competition for the local fare – feeding humpback whales! In what might be the ultimate "oh hai", the whales come up just a hair too close for comfort ... our only hope is that the fishermen brought fresh pairs of underwear to work.

Great White Leap

This impressive great white shark breach was filmed by YouTuber Skylar Thomas near South Africa's Seal Island. The video aims to explain white shark behaviours that are often misinterpreted by the media as attempted bites, including "mouthing", bumping and, of course, breaching. "Sharks do not have hands and that's why they use their mouths to explore their environment," explains shark biologist Mauricio Hoyos, who has encountered many great whites over the years, including Deep Blue, the biggest female we've ever seen. "[In the case of sharks biting cages], they usually aren't being aggressive, but rather want to know what is there.”