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silehunterII.GIF (6114 bytes) LEOPARD silehunterII.GIF (6114 bytes)
ORDER FAMILY Scientific name
Carnivora Felidae Panthera pardus
(Linnaeus,1758)
HABITAT Leopards are more commonly found along riverine forests and bushes. Although less common, they also can be found along open plains and savanna, mainly in hills and rocky outcrops.
HABITS Leopards normally hunt at night and dusk, staying in secluded spots during the day or lying in high branches of trees.
They are solitary animals by nature, only associating with a female for mating and staying with her only for a couple of days.
Leopards are master of camouflage and they move silently trough the vegetation to attack their prey at very close quarters. The victim is normally killed with a bite on the back of the neck, and then taken up a tree, where the leopard will feed at leisure, away from scavengers.
Leopards are extremely territorial animals. Their life-span is about 15 years, and they can attain a mass of about 70 Kg.
DIET Leopards are the most successful hunters of the cat family. Their prey include Impala, Bushbuck, Warthog and also the young of Wildbeest, Kudu and Waterbuck. Rodents, ground birds, monkeys, baboons, frogs and fish, also make part of it's diet.
BREEDING The female gives birth to one to three cubs after a gestation period of about 105 days. The cubs are kept in secluded spots, like thickets and rocky crevices. They are much darker than adults.
Female Leopards are very dedicated mothers leaving their cubs only when hunting. Occasionally the mother will bring some small live animal to her cubs, so they can practice their hunting and killing skills.
At a age of about 2 years, the cubs will leave their mother and look for their own territory.

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Last revised: March 22, 2005.