African Leopard

Panthera pardus pardus

Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Family: Felidae

Size

Weight: 65-170 lbs

Diet

Leopards are carnivores and hunt a wide variety of prey depending on their habitat.

Lifespan

Lifespan (Wild): 7-9 years
Lifespan (Captivity): 15-20 years

Habitat & Range

Forests and grasslands of Africa

Interesting Facts

  • A leopard’s spots are called “rosettes”. Rosettes serve as effective camouflage so they can easily hide while hunting at night and resting during the day.
  • Leopards are very capable climbers, and they are strong enough to carry large prey up into trees to keep it safe from scavengers such as hyenas. Leopards are also agile jumpers and can leap up to 20 feet horizontally.
  • Leopards tend to be solitary and have a distinct barking territorial call. These big cats also mark their territory using urine and tree scratching.

At the Zoo

Our African leopard habitat was designed with help from a group of middle school girls as part of the “Magic Mowgli Project”. The purpose of this project was to boost young girls’ interest in math and science.

Conservation Status

Vulnerable

Threats

Leopards are greatly threatened by illegal hunting and loss of habitat. They are a target for trophy hunting, and their body parts are sometimes used in traditional ceremonies and medicine.