The African Leopard (Panthera pardus) is a large feline, a wild cat. It is a mammal.
The African Leopard has a short coat of cream-yellow fur with dark-brown or black spots grouped into rosettes all over its body – on its fur and on its skin. Inside the rosettes is a yellowish-cream spot. It has short powerful legs with heavy feet, a strong body, thick neck, and a long tail. Its claws can retract (move in and out). Its ears are short and rounded, and its eyes have white underneath. It has thick whiskers.
It grows to 100-125 centimetres (39-50 inches) long and 58-70 centimetres (23-28 inches) tall. Its long tail is 68-80 centimetres (27-32 inches).
The African Leopard is native to sub-Saharan Africa. It prefers different types of habitats, except deserts. It particularly likes rainforests and grasslands with trees. It is secretive, so it likes to hide.
It is nocturnal, hunting at night. It is carnivorous, eating meat, such as small mammals, particularly gazelles and impala. It will save its killed prey on a tree branch to prevent other animals from stealing it. It has strong teeth that can crunch animal bones.
The African Leopard is a solitary animal. It is also territorial. It is a strong swimmer, and a good climber. It can climb trees as high as 15 meters (50 feet).
Females have 1-4 young, called cubs, after a pregnancy of 90-105 days. A group of leopards is called a leap of leopards.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
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