SCIENTIFIC NAME: Panthera pardus orientali
RANGE: Leopards have the largest range, which includes Africa and Asia. The subspecies we have at our zoo is an Asian species and its range is Eastern Siberia. However the African subspecies range is south of the Sahara desert.
HABITAT: Woodland, savannahs, and tropical forests
STATUS IN WILD: Endangered because of habitat destruction, poaching for fur, and loss of prey. There are about 30 individuals in the wild and about 200 in captivity.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Large, spotted cat with short powerful limbs, heavy torso, thick neck, and long tail. Background color ranges from tawny yellow to reddish brown. Under parts are white, the rest of the body is covered with dark spots arranged in rosettes on torso and upper limbs. There are smaller scattered spots on lower limbs and head. Weight ranges from 66 to 198 pounds depending on the sex.< Head and body length varies from 3 to 6 feet. The tail ranges from 23 to 44 inches. Height is between 18 and 31 inches.
LONGEVITY: Approximately 10 to 15 years in the wild. In captivity they have been known to live for 23 years.
REPRODUCTION: Leopards are solitary animals except during mating season. After a gestation of 90 to 105 days, most cubs are born in spring or early summer. A female may give birth every 1 to 2 years to 1 to 6 cubs. The cubs are born blind at birth and are kept hidden for 6 to 8 weeks with only the mother to care for them. After 18 to 24 months, the cubs will finally leave their mother. The young reach sexual maturity at 2 to 3 years.
DIET/WILD: Wild boar, deer, badgers, or other meat
DIET/ZOO: Feline canned diet and Nebraska brand feline chopped meat. Bones and liver are given occasionally.
ECOLOGICAL ROLE: Leopards are top predators in the ecosystems in which they live. They are instrumental in controlling populations of large ungulates.
MISCELLANEOUS: Generally are solitary and territorial animals. They hunt alone and rarely share their prey with other leopards. Only exception is the female who will share with her cubs. A nocturnal hunter, the leopard carries its prey up a tree to eat it or to be stores for future meals.< Their vision and hearing are acute and the sense of smell is better than that of the tiger. Excellent climbers, they spend most of their time sleeping or eating in trees. They are strong swimmers but not that fond of water. They can run at a speed of 37 mph for short periods and can leap 20 feet in length and 10 feet up. Each leopard has its own spot pattern just like people have different fingerprints
FACT SHEET CREATED BY: Ella Viola
FACT SHEET EDITED BY: Erin Rackovan DATE: Sept. 2009