Leopards are seen as one of the “big five” because of their predatory and fearless elements. They are exceptional athletes hence they can outrun their major predator which is the lion and any other animal capable of harming them. When the worst comes to the worst, the leopard can always climb the tree and avert any harm. As such the leopard rarely runs away from a predator. It stands its ground and simply examines the level of danger or opportunity. Similarly the leopard cub does not easily flee from predators. Our elders observed that this is purely because it has the same instincts and behavior as the parent. Children rarely develop traits that are not within one of their parents or guardians.
The proverb is used to comment and appreciate the similarity in character between a child and the parent. It can be also used to explain any behavior in the child that is consistent with any of the parents.