Leopard is one of the five extinct species in the species Panthera belonging to the felid family. It ranges widely from sub-Saharan Africa to small parts of Western and Central Asia, and on the Indian subcontinent to Southeast and East Asia.
One of Africa’s most secretive big cats, It can be found throughout Tanzania’s safari areas. For the best chance of seeing them, make sure to visit the central Serengeti.
Leopard, (Panthera pardus), also called a panther, is a large cat associated with the lion, tiger, and jaguar. The name leopard was first given to the cat now called cheetah, which was thought to be a cross between the lion and the pard. The term pard was eventually replaced by the name leopard.
The leopard (Panthera pardus) is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the Felidae. It occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa, in small parts of Western and Central Asia, a small part of European Russia, and on the Indian subcontinent to Southeast and East Asia. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because leopard populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and are declining in large parts of the global range.
In Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Jordan, Morocco, Togo, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Kuwait, Syria, Libya, Tunisia, and most likely in North Korea, Gambia, Laos, Lesotho, Tajikistan, Vietnam, and Israel, leopard populations have already been extirpated. Contemporary records suggest that the leopard occurs in only 25% of its historical global range.
Compared to other wild cats, It has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. Its fur is marked with rosettes. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar but has a smaller, lighter physique, and its rosettes are generally smaller, more densely packed, and without central spots. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers.
The leopard is distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur, opportunistic hunting behavior, broad diet, strength, and ability to adapt to a variety of habitats ranging from rainforest to steppe, including arid and montane areas. It can run at speeds of up to 58 kilometers per hour (36 miles per hour). The earliest known leopard fossils excavated in Europe are estimated 600,000 years old, dating to the late Early Pleistocene. Leopard fossils were also found in Japan and Sumatra.
The leopard varies greatly in size and markings. The average size is 50 to 90 kg (110 to 200 pounds) in weight, 210 cm (84 inches), excluding the 90-cm tail, in length, and 60 to 70 cm in shoulder height. Can, however, grows much larger. The ground color is typically yellowish above and whites below.
Dark spots are generally arranged in rosettes over much of the body and are without the central spot characteristic of the coat of the jaguar; the ground color within the rosettes is sometimes a darker yellow, and the size and spacing of the spots vary greatly. As a result of these differences in pattern, several races of leopards have been named.
It is a solitary animal of the bush and forest and is mainly nocturnal in habit, although it sometimes basks in the sun. It is an agile climber and frequently stores the remains of its kills in the branches of a tree.
It feeds upon any animals it can overpower, from small rodents to waterbuck, but generally preys on the smaller and medium-sized antelopes and deer; it appears to have a special liking for dogs as food and, in Africa, for baboons. It sometimes takes livestock and may attack human beings.