African Leopard

ANIMAL:
African Leopard Panthera pardus

Type of Animal:
Feline

Habitat:
Bush, forest, desert, semi-desert, savanna, grassland, mountainous areas, woodland, swampland, rural areas, urban areas, coastal scrub, shrubland

Location(s):
Most of Sub-Saharan Africa, except for parts of Kalahari Desert.

Appearance:
Pale yellow to tawny to gold w/ black rosettes. Head/belly/lower limbs spotted solid black. “Black Panthers” just melanistic mutation of leopard.


Food/Diet:
Primates, goats, antelope, impala, zebras, birds up to size of ostriches, gazelles, elephant calves, lion cubs, giraffe calves, pygmy hippos, hyraxes, hares, rabbits, rodents (including porcupines), carrion, monitor lizards, pythons, crocodiles, tortoises, fish, insects, cattle, pigs, sheep, horses, donkeys, jackals, servals, foxes, dogs, amphibians, okapi, hippo calves, forest buffalo, cape buffalo calves, rhino calves, pangolins, civets. There have been rare cases of man-eating leopards.

Status in Wild:
Threatened

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos & wildlife parks

Lifestyle:
Solitary

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Leopard
Female-Leopardess
Young-Cub
Group-Solitary

Weight:
Male-130-150 lbs
Female-75-90 lbs
Young-15-20 lbs

Gestation:3-4 months

Height:
Male-1.9-2.5 ft
Female-1.8-2.1 ft

Body Length:
Female-3-4.5 ft
Male-4-6 ft

Life Span: 12-15 years in wild, up to 20 years in captivity

Tail Length:
2-3.5 ft, same for both sexes

Only predators of adults are Nile Crocs, which only happens if croc wins fight w/ leopard. Cubs preyed on by wild dogs, lions, hyenas, & male leopards.

Very territorial w/ fights often resulting in death.

Each male territory covers up to 5 female territories.

Declining due to hunting for fur, persecution, habitat loss, logging, & sport hunting.

Sexually mature at 1.5 years old.

They purr, mew, & roar.

Mothers give birth to 1-4 cubs in a den.

Fun Fact(s):
A leopard will often take large prey, sometimes 10 times its own size, up into fork of tree to keep away from other predators & scavengers. They’re amazing climbers.

Generally shy, they can also be highly dangerous. A mom w/ cubs or cornered/wounded leopard won’t hesitate to attack.

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