Leopards are big powerful cats known for their golden spotted bodies and graceful hunting techniques. Leopards are related to lions, tigers and jaguars.
Leopard Scientific Name:
The scientific name of leopard is Panthera Pardus. Leopards belong to the Felidae family.
How Big a Leopard Is?
Male leopards are larger and heavier than female leopards. Male leopards can stand up to 24-28 inches at the shoulder and female can stand up to 22-25 inches. Their long tails adds 26-40 inches. The body weight also vary between a male and female leopard. Male weighs (82-198 pounds), female weighs (62-132 pounds).
The maximum weight of a leopard recorded in South Africa is 212 pounds, whereas in India it was measured as 173 pounds.
Where are Leopards Found?
Leopards are mostly found in the sub-Saharan deserts, the Arabian Peninsula. Leopards can be found in some parts of east and central Asia. According to IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) the population of leopards are getting exposed and declining at the global parts. Leopards are already abolishing from Hong Kong, Singapore, Syria and Morocco.
Types of Leopards:
- African Leopards: African leopard is a most widespread sub specie of a leopard, that inherent in the African continent, most in sub Saharan Africa. The coat color of African leopard is deep gold or beige. Unfortunately, African leopards are the preyed upon African trophy hunting. Trophy hunting is basically the practice of hunting animals for wild games created by the humans for their interests.
- Indian Leopards: Indian leopards are native to Indian subcontinent founded in the Myanmar and southern Tibet. Although, Indian Leopards are listed in the red list by IUCN, because these are infringe for their skin and body parts. Humans are killing and threatening the lives of these leopards. A survey conducted in 2004, indicated to the numbers of leopards existing in the world are around 12,000-14,000.
- Arabian Leopards: Arabian leopards are the smallest subspecies, and listed the most endangered species. They are native to Arabian Peninsula but extinct to Sinai Peninsula. Less than 50 are sub populated now, they bear the color from pale yellow to deep golden.
- Persian or Anatolian Leopards: It is the largest sub specie of leopards, that inhabitant to the region of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Turkey, Russia and Azerbaijan. About 870-1290 individuals exist currently but it is also classified as endangered species. In Iran, a study concluded that 18% deaths of Persian leopards occurred due to road accidents and 70% due to illegal hunting.
- Indochinese Leopards: The mainland of these Indochinese leopards is southern china and Southeast Asia. In 2016, a report suggested that only 400-1000 adults are left in the wild. The body parts of Indochinese leopards has been used for traditional Chinese medicines.
- Javan Leopards: Javan leopards are regionally from the Indonesian island of java. These leopards are completely black or have the usual spots. Only 250 individuals survive in their habitat range. Exhaustion of the prey and human poaching have resulted in the rapid undergoing of the java leopards.
- Sri Lankan Leopard: Sri Lankan leopards inherent from the Sri Lanka, they acquire the rusty yellow color coat with rosette and dark spots. This subspecies of leopards has been found in a wide range of dry evergreen monsoon forest, rain forest, arid scrub jungle and upper highland forest. The weight of Male Sri Lankan leopards can be around 56 kg, and the weight of female Sri Lankan can be up to 29 kg. The Sri Lankan leopards can be seen in the Yala National Park and the Wilpattu National Park of Sri Lanka.
- Amur Leopard: The Amur leopard is native to the southern east Russia and northeast china, these are severely endangered species among all other sub species of leopards. According to the reports of World Wildlife Fund, only 70 Amur Leopards are surviving in the world. These leopards have thick spotted coat which enable them to sustain in the cold climate. The population of Amur Leopards are in danger because of human settlements and poaching, forests fires, and inbreeding.
What Do Leopards Eat?
Leopards are carnivorous and eat the flesh of fish, reptiles, snakes, rabbits, monkeys, snakes, large birds, rodents and baboons. The average daily consumption of a leopard is 3.5 kg.
How do Leopards Hunt?
Leopards hunt by looking at the opportunity, they prefer medium sized antelopes, but will dine on fish, rabbit, snakes. The leopards can wait or can chase his prey over a long distance. Leopards can hunt from the trees also as they are stronger to drag the animal on the tree heavier than its own weight. They are also good swimmers where they can eat fish and crabs. Leopards have a strong night vision, so they mostly prefer to hunt at night. Leopards can run at a speed of 58 km/hr.