Leopards are famous for their arboreal acrobatics and we've seen enough evidence of their abilities to know that if you're in the crosshairs of one of these spotted felines the treetops are hardly a safe retreat. Of course, the big cats aren't the only skilled climbers in the African bushveld, as one vervet monkey in South Africa's Greater Kruger Park recently proved when it gave a relentless leopard the ol' runaround.

Filmed in Londolozi Private Game Reserve, the leopardess – known to park staff as the Mashaba female – chased a vervet monkey up a tree but found herself trapped in a game of back-and-forth as the primate danced in the upper branches leaving the leopard hurling herself from bough to bough as she tried her best to track the monkey's movements. Realising fairly quickly that the bout of "treetop to and fro" wasn't going anywhere, the Mashaba female wisely abandoned her efforts.

Leopards typically opt for an ambush approach to catch their prey, but the opportunistic predators will employ a variety of tactics depending on circumstances. Leopards are primarily nocturnal hunters that rely on acute eyesight and hearing to stalk within metres of their prey before launching a surprise attack. In this case though, the huntress was likely just trying her luck and hoping to use skill and agility to nab a quick snack.

Like most cats, leopards have few dietary restrictions and will feed on pretty much anything that's edible (even pythons and crocodiles). "Leopards are predators that do not specialise on any one prey," explains carnivore biologist Laurel E.K. Serieys. "As generalist predators, [leopards] are also opportunistic predators – when they see an opportunity for a meal and they are hungry, they may pursue it."

The big cats usually target medium to large-sized herbivores. In the Kruger National Park, this includes antelope species like impala, bushbuck and common duiker, but monkeys and baboons are also taken if the opportunity arises (and they can catch them).