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Leopard (Panthera pardus)

The leopard is a predator of the Cat family - one of the five species of the Panthera genus, spread in Africa, Western and Central Asia, Southeastern Russia and India.


Physical features

It is a large and stocky animal. The males weigh up to 70 kg and the females - up to 40 kg. The fur is short and thick. The leopards are yellow, through ocher and orange to light brown in color. Pure black specimens occur too. (Melanism – this is a genetic condition that causes excess pigmentation, causing the animals to turn completely black.). The leopard's spots are entire, black on the limbs, head and tail. They are most often in groups of four on the body. The belly and chest are white to yellowish; the spots there are sparser. The leopard has highly developed eyesight and hearing. It runs quite fast.



Leopards are nocturnal hunters and are used to spending the day sleeping hidden in thickets or on tree branches.

For the leopard, trees are places for rest, hunting and store of food. From the height of the tree, the leopard ambushes and attacks its prey and also keeps its food out of reach of the hyenas. It can lift an animal twice his weight up a tree. In nature, the leopard eats small and medium-sized game, rarely large - antelopes, roe deer, wild boars, monkeys, jackals and rodents.

Like the rest representatives of the Cat family, the leopard is a loner. An exception is made during the reproductive period. It lives 8 - 16 years, in closed environment - up to 20 – 25 years. The female gives birth to 1 - 3 cubs. The pregnancy lasts about three months.


Interesting facts

The leopard is a protected species in its entire range of area, but this does not prevent it from being hunted by poachers for its valuable fur and body parts.