The world is full of unbelievably, beautiful creatures and one of these creatures is the leopards. They are majestic felines stunning with golden, spotted bodies, yet they are deadly with their hunting skills. These magnificent big cats are interesting even though most will never encounter these beasts in real life. In this article, we will be talking about these beautiful carnivores and reveal short facts about leopards that are entirely unexpected. Let’s get started!
1. Black Panthers Are Not Panthers but Black Leopards
Although they are called black panthers, they are more likely considered leopard or jaguars because they have a lot of common traits. Their black coloring is because of genetics. If you look close enough with bright enough lighting, you can see it’s spotted.
2. There Are 8 Subspecies of Leopards
Though we may think that leopards are all the same, what we are seeing on tv is just one subspecies of leopards. Studies have shown that there are actually eight subspecies of leopards. Still, some have been extinct due to the destruction of their homes and from illegal poaching. Here are the eight subspecies of leopards:
- Sri Lankan
3. Leopards Are Critically Extinct
Three of the eight subspecies of leopards, namely the Amur, Arabian, and Javan are considered critically endangered. Scientists have concluded that the Amur leopards are one of the rarest cats in the planet.
4. They Are The Strongest Amongst All the Cats
Leopards can climb trees even while carrying prey. Most big cats cannot even lift their weight to climb trees. Leopards do this to ensure that no lions or hyenas get to their food even if they leave their food for a few hours.
5. Leopards Are Known for Their Remarkable Agility
Leopards are one of the fastest cats in the world. They can run 58 km/hr, and they can jump for up to 6m long and 3m high. Leopards are also great swimmers and can survive in the water for a long time.
6. They Are Solitary Animals
Leopards don’t come in packs or herds compared to lions. They are most likely alone and mark their territory using their urine and mark trees with their claws to let others know that it is theirs. Males usually allow female leopards to come into their territory when they want to mate.
7. Female Leopard’s Cubs Are Only Two to Three
Female leopards can produce two to three cubs for each gestation. This explains a fewer number of leopards compared to other big cats in the wild. Mothers will not leave their territories until they know that their babies can fend off for themselves.
8. Leopards Have Spots That Are Called “Rosettes”
The most distinctive part of a leopard is the marks on their fur. They make a beautiful pattern on the fur that gives a leopard their distinctive and unique appearance. Black leopards or black panthers also have spots but are not that recognizable.
9. They Can Adapt the Most out of All the Big Cats
Leopards can adapt to any climate or habitat, making them the only big cat with a wide range of adaptability. They can survive anything so they can be spotted around the globe in different habitats.
10. Leopards Are Outstanding Predators
With their speed and agility, leopards can hunt down prey twice its size. They hunt gazelles, warthogs ad even wildebeests. Some reports have stated that leopards also hunted down and killed a gorilla once.
11. Leopards Are a Relatively Shy Animal
Since they prefer to be alone rather than in a pack, leopards are particularly shy creatures. There were previous reports that leopards have killed humans before. These are rare circumstances because they tend to hide if a person approaches them, not because they are scared but because they tend to shy away from humans.
12. They Cannot Be Domesticated
There has not been a report that a leopard is domesticated by a human. They cannot be considered pets because they are large wild animals, and some countries made it illegal to keep them as pets. Leopards can be unpredictable, and you can be their meal if you annoy them.
13. They Prefer to Travel at Night
Most leopards prefer to hunt and travel during the night, although some prefer those activities during the day. Mostly, during day time, they lounge on their treetops and sleep, and when the sun sets, they go out to hunt. They can travel from 10 miles up to 40 miles in one night.
14. Cubs Are Weaned Off When They Are 2 Years Old
For leopards, their cubs would not survive without supervision for in the first year. Mothers let them have milk and start to wean them off when they are about two years old. Compared to other domesticated and wild animals, leopard cubs take the longest time to become fully independent from their mothers.
Bonus Fact: Some Species Are Considered Critically Endangered
There are about 250,000 leopards in the population left in the world, as noted by saveanimalsfacingextinction.org. They’re poached for their pelts and teeth and as a hunting sport. Preserving leopards habitats and safeguarding its territories can be a great way to prevent poaching. Also, learning their behaviors can be a great help in understanding them and helping them. With their habitats being destroyed each year to make way for buildings and other infrastructures, leopards can be wiped out in the years to come.
What Do You Think?
What do you think about these short facts about leopards? Did we miss any, and do you have any favorites? We’d like to hear your thoughts so please comment below.