Panthera pardus is a kind of cat.
70 cm at the shoulder
Weight range: 60-80 kg
104cm – 190cm in length (small female to large male) The tail may be extended by 110cm.
A distinct huge cat. Other species that are most comparable include the cheetah and the new world Jaguar. The dots on the back and upper limbs are multicolored rosettes, but the spots on the face and lower limbs are solid black. The eyes are green.
Gestation lasts 90 to 112 days, with up to six young born in a cave or thicket and concealed for 6 weeks. Their eyes open at one week, they breastfeed for three months, and they are sexually mature before the age of two. The mother will spend up to 36 hours away from her children, but will stay within 2 kilometers of their hiding place, which she will shift often. Except for mating and the odd reunion of moms and daughters, they are virtually entirely solitary after they reach adulthood.
Where to find them
One of the nicest parts about looking for leopards is that the best time to view them coincides with the best time to see lions. During the day, lions seek refuge in the shade and thick grasses, whilst leopards prefer to remain cool among the branches of large trees. Although their markings sometimes make them difficult to identify in the speckled light beneath the tree canopy, watch for their tails swinging below the limbs. One of them is extremely uncommon to be seen in wide savannah environments.
Inactive for the most of the day and night, often reclining on a tree branch. I seldom sleep in the same spot two nights in a row. Estés (p. 367)
Daytime hunting is almost never done. In one Serengeti investigation, 61 of 64 daytime efforts were unsuccessful. Estés (p. 367)
Will frequently spray, defecate, or scratch at trail junctions. Kingdon (page 283)
Scats are tapered at one end, become white in the light, and have a lot of fur. Walker (p. 96).
The overall gait length is 95-100 cm (Walker, p. 96)
Claws can be retracted. The track is circular, small, and has a gentle tread (Walker, p. 98)
Despite international regulations, their coats are nevertheless exceedingly expensive on the black market, and it is believed that 50,000 are poached each year. They are also killed in order to keep them from preying on cattle. The Rwenzori subspecies is critically endangered. Kingdon (page 283)
- Estes (1991). The African Mammal Behavior Guide. The University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
- Kingdon (1997). The African Mammal Field Guide by Kingdon. Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey.
- Walker (1996). Signs of the Wild: A Field Guide to the Spoor and Signs of Southern African Mammals. Fifth Edition. Struik Publishers Ltd. is based in Cape Town, South Africa.