Leopards -The Most Graceful, Powerful And Beautiful Big Cats

Closely related to Lions, Panthers,Tigers, and Jaguars


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More about the Big Cats...

Hunting

The leopard depends on its sharp sense of hearing and vision for hunting. Hunting is primarily a night time activity. It will stalk the prey and approach it as close as possible. It then makes a brief and explosive charge (up to 60km/h), pouncing on its prey and dispatching it with a bite to the neck. Leopards do not have the aptitude to chase their quarry over any kind of distance and will give up if the initial element of surprise is lost and the intended victim gets away. Leopards pounce on the prey with forepaws and kill by suffocation. Smaller prey are killed with a bite on the back of the neck, while larger animals are held strongly by the throat and strangled. Small prey are eaten immediately, while larger carcasses are dragged over several hundred meters and safely cached in trees, bushes or even caves to be consumed later. The way the kill is stored depends on local topography and individual preferences; while trees are preferred in Kruger National Park, bushes are preferred in the plain terrain of the Kalahari. It is able to take large prey due to its massive skull and powerful jaw muscles, and therefore strong enough to drag carcasses heavier than itself up into trees; the leopard is a carnivore that prefers medium-sized prey with a body mass ranging from 10–40 kg (22–88 lb). 

Breeding

Female leopards can give birth at any time of the year. They usually have two grayish cubs with barely visible spots. The mother hides her cubs and moves them from one safe location to the next until they are old enough to begin playing and learning to hunt. Cubs live with their mothers for about two years—otherwise, leopards are solitary animals.


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