Information On Leopards

 

Leopard Information
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The Leopard, is an elegant, long-bodied cat with a proportionally smaller head, sturdy legs of medium length and a long tail, more sinuous in its movements than the heavier bodied lion and tiger.

The close soft coat of the leopard is short and sleek in tropical areas, longer in colder climates.

Leopards are found in a wide range of habitat, from desert to savanna and forest. Once found through most of Africa and through the Middle East to Java, they are still fairly common in some parts of central and east Africa and there are scattered populations in east Africa and many parts of Asia. In India it often seems to prefer to live near villages where it preys on dogs, goats, calves and chickens. Depredations on domestic livestock may be outweighed by their control of baboons, cave rats, and other animals that destroy crops. Other prey includes almost anything from antelopes to rodents, hares, frogs, and even dung beetles.

Living in the highlands of the central Asian mountains the Snow Leopard above sometimes ascends to eighteen thousand feet.

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The leopard can be a very secretive animal and is a stealthy hunter. In areas where it is hunted, the Leopard is nocturnal and seldom seen except in reserves where it has become used to vehicles and may be seen hunting in the daylight.

Although solitary, there have been reports of males staying with their mates and even helping rear cubs, and group of up to six have occasionally been seen.

The leopard can be a very secretive animal and is a stealthy hunter.

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Up to four cubs (but usually two) are born after a gestation period of about 98 days, in a cave, hollow tree or thicket. The cubs are born with dull gray hair. They are weaned at three months, but stay with their mother until 18 months to two years old and reach sexual maturity and full size at two and a half to three years old. She may move them from place to place. When the cubs are older, she will lead them to a kill. The young play by stalking and pouncing, preparing them to hunt on their own.

Life span of the leopard is 21 years in captivity.

They are strong swimmers and climb well, often carrying carcasses 20 feet (6 m) up into a tree.

Leopards have a call, described as a "grunt-ha! grunt-ha!", and a variety of other grunts, coughs, and a sound like someone sawing wood, but they are usually silent.

A few leopards appear to be black because they have black rosettes on a black back grounds. These leopards are known as black panthers.

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The Future of the Leopard

Leopards have been heavily hunted for their fur, and loss of habitat and natural prey has increased predation on stock (and sometimes attacks on people) leading to further killings. They are now protected through most of their range and are listed as Endangered.

 


 


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