Facts about the Leopard – (Panthera pardus)
Leopard generally spend the hottest hours of the day resting to conserve the energy needed to execute kills and defend territories.
They usually rest in the thick cover of a wooded drainage line or leafy tree. Sometimes they may retreat into a cave. Or they make use rocky outcrops as den sites, vantage points or to sun themselves duricng cold weather. An extraordinarily muscular upper body, neck and legs allows leopards to carry animals as much as two to three times their own body weight into trees, a necessary ploy to avoid their kills being stolen by lions and hyena. No other cats hang their prey in branches this way, but lions have been known to climb trees to steal the leopards’ hidden carcasses. The leopard sometimes stays in the same tree for days eating and protecting its meal, eventually descending down the trunk head-first.
Leopards have intricate pattering all over their bodies. This pattern is unique to each animal. On the majority of the body black spots are arranged together to form rosettes. The back and flanks of the body are a golden colour and the underside almost pure white. In combination these discriptive markings and colours provide the leopard with highly effective camouflage.
Size & Weight:
Male: 70-80cm / 60-90kg
Female: 60-70cm / 30-60kg
11-15 years (maximum 20)
Habitat & Distribution:
Wide tolerance – extremely adaptable but needs good cover to hunt and hide.
Terrtories usually include rocky outcrops and densely wooded drainage lines
Gestation # youngs:
100 days / 2-3
Wide variety from mice, reptiles and fish to large antelope small carnivores,
mainly medium-sized antelope like impala, readily scavenges.
Cubs killed by lions and spotted hyenas