Leopard Facts

Leopard Facts
Leopard is the most widespread member the cat family and one of the 5 "big cats" (together with tiger, jaguar, lion and snow leopard). There are 9 subspecies of leopard that are native to Africa and Asia. Leopard can be found in various habitats and climates, from rainforests, coastal scrublands, woodlands and swamps to the deserts, steppes and mountains. Despite its wide range, number of leopard in the wild is rapidly declining due to habitat loss and illegal hunting. Most subspecies of leopard are classified as near threatened, while Amur leopard is critically endangered with only 30 animals left in the wild.
Interesting Leopard Facts:
Leopard can reach 36 to 74.4 feet in length (not including 25 to 39 inches of tail) and 46 to 165 pounds of weight. Males are much larger than females.
Leopard has light yellow or golden coat covered with rose-shaped black markings called rosettes. Face, limbs and belly are covered with solid black spots. Some leopards have black fur with nearly invisible rosettes (they should not be confused with black panthers).
Leopard has large skull, sleek, powerful body, short legs and long tail which provides balance in the trees and rapid changes of direction when it hunts.
Leopard is an excellent swimmer, agile jumper (it can jump 20 feet horizontally and 10 feet vertically) and fast runner (maximum speed: 36 miles per hour).
Leopard has excellent eyesight and sense of hearing which facilitate detection of prey during the night.
Leopard's diet is based on various small and large animals such as gazelles, antelopes, monkeys, snakes, warthogs and porcupines.
Leopard doesn't drink much water. It obtains most of the moisture from the prey.
Leopard is an ambush predator that targets the neck of its prey.
Leopard spends most of the time in the trees. It stores its food and eats in the trees to protect its prey from lions and hyenas.
Leopard is solitary and territorial animal that marks its territory with urine and claw marks on the trees.
Leopard can growl, purr and produce rasping cough-like and barking sounds.
Leopard can mate all year round. Female often mates with several males to protect her cubs (all males believe that they are the fathers of the offspring and thus do not have urge to kill them).
Pregnancy lasts 3 months and ends with 2 to 3 cubs. Babies are blind and helpless at birth. They spend first 8 weeks of their life hidden in the nest and depend on the mother's milk until the age of 3 months.
Young leopards learn to hunt from their mother and become ready for the independent life at the age of 2 years. They reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 to 3 years.
Leopard can survive 12 to 15 years in the wild and up to 23 years in the captivity.

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