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Leopard

Afrikaans name: Luiperd

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Leopard on the prowl near Shingwedzi

Photo © Steven Herbert

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Seeing a leopard is the ultimate sighting in a game reserve

Photo © Steven Herbert

Panthera pardus

Interesting facts about Leopards

The Leopard is a member of the Big 5 that also includes Lion, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino.

A Leopard's coat varies in colour from a pale yellow to a darker brown or even greyish in some areas. The fur on the underside of the is a pale colour. Irrespective of the colour of the coat, the Leopard is marked with black rosettes.

Leopards are much smaller than Lions. Males can weigh up to 90 kg and females up to 60 kg. Leopards from different habitats show a remarkable difference in sizes.

Leopards may be found over a wide distribution in South Africa and Africa. They are able to adapt to a variety of habitats.

They are normally solitary and are predominantly active at night. They are very secretive and their colouration makes them very difficult to see.

Leopards tend to hunt smaller antelopes such as Impala. Normally they will drag their prey up a tree to protect it from other predators such as Lions and Hyenas.

Young Leopards remain with their mothers for up to 2 years.


Leopard spots close up

Photo © Steven Herbert

Leopard on the rocks

Photo © lienkie - Fotolia.com

Leopard with kill

Photo © lienkie - Fotolia.com

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References

List of South African Mammals

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