Leopard Facts
Size 2.9 - 6.2 ft (90 - 190 cm); shoulder height 2.2 - 2.6 ft (70 - 80 cm); tail 1.9 - 3.6 ft (60 - 110 cm)
Speed 36. mph (58 km/h) (short distances)
Weight 66.1 - 132.2 lb (30 - 60 kg) (female), 88.1 - 198.4 lb (40 - 90 kg) (male)
Lifespan 12 - 15 years (in the wild)
Food Antelopes, deer, wild boars
Predators Tigers, lions
Habitat Africa, Asia
Order Carnivore
Family Cats
Scientific name Panthera pardus
Characteristics Fourth-largest big cat

The leopard is the fourth-largest big cat, although it is significantly smaller than a lion, tiger or jaguar. It lives on its own in tropical rainforests, in the mountains, in the savannah, or in semi-deserts. In Asia it also lives in conifer forests.


The leopard is a passionate ambush predator and very good at sneaking up to its prey extremely slowly and patiently. Often the leopard just comfortably reclines on a branch, just a few meters above its prey, waiting for the best moment to attack.

Leopard Leopard - Photo: Eduard Kyslynskyy/Shutterstock

Go for a Swim!

First off: All cats are good swimmers. But most of them don’t like it. Their coat is getting heavy from the water, which slows them down.

Yet, tigers, jaguars, and leopards are among the few feline predators that like swimming. This does not make things better for their prey: The water is no option to make an escape.

The Fur-ID

„ID“ stands for „identifier“ and signifies something as unique. „ID“ numbers can be found on passports. A house number is basically also a kind of „ID“.

The fur of the leopard is its “ID”. It has flower-shaped, black spots. Even though it is difficult to perceive: Each leopard has a unique pattern. The leopard can also be easily distinguished from the jaguar, because the leopard’s spots do not have a dot in the middle.

Over a Car in One Leap

Leopards can jump 9.8 ft (3 m) high and distances of up to 19.6 ft (6 m). They can easily leap over a large car.

Leopard Leopard - Photo: J Reineke/Shutterstock

My Friend the Tree

Leopards are not only very good swimmers, but also excellent climbers. With their sharp, retractable claws they find secure hold on the bark and easily climb up trees that are up to 49.2 ft (15 m) high.

No other feline predator as big as a leopard climbs that high. Potential victims only have one chance: run away as fast as possible.

The Store Room on the Branch Fork

As lions and hyenas sometimes like to steal its prey, the leopard has come up with an idea. It stores its prey in the forks of branches.

There it is safe and the leopard can take a snack whenever it is feeling hungry. The leopard is even able to carry prey that is bigger and heavier than itself up the tree in its mouth.


The panther Baghira from the Jungle Book is a black leopard. Panthers are not a separate species, but simply have a specific coat color. There are also black jaguars, which are also called panthers.

Not Thirsty Despite the Heat

Leopards can survive up to ten days without water. Provided they find enough to eat, because their food contains enough liquid.

Leopard Black Leopard = Panther - Photo: Volodymyr Burdiak/Shutterstock

I am Not Deaf!

Leopards can hear five times better than humans.


Leopards are loners. They only meet during the mating season and stay together for about 8 - 9 days. After 90 - 105 days, the female leopard gives birth to 2 - 4 babies, which weigh just about 1.1 lb (500 g).

After 2- 3 months the cubs start to eat meat. After 13 - 18 months they strike out on their own. At the age of 3 years they are adults.

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