Leopards are part of the big cat family and can be found throughout most of Asia and Africa from the Soviet Union to the Middle East, India, China and Malaysia.
Leopard Facts for Kids
- Leopards live in varied habitats that include grassland, mountains, forests, and deserts.
- Leopards are considered to be the strongest member of the big cats. Their strength gives them the ability to carry very heavy prey and their ability to climb trees offers them the chance to actually hang their prey in the trees so that other predators don’t try to steal it.
- Leopards are one of the most agile cats. They can leap horizontally to 6m, vertically 3m, and can reach running speeds to 58km per hour. They are excellent swimmers as well.
- The leopard has developed the ability to hide and are secretive and elusive. This makes it difficult to track in the wild.
- The leopard has a large territory and is mostly a solitary cat.
- Males have larger territories than females and they often overlap.
- They mark their territories by urinating as well as leaving claw marks on trees to warn others to stay out of their area.
- Leopards share a few of the same traits as our own domesticated cats. When they are angry they will growl and also when contented they can purr. If they are near the area of another leopard they will make a raspy coughing noise to announce that they are there.
- A mother leopard will have between two and three cubs and for the first eight weeks, she stays in the area and keeps them hidden for protection.
The spots on leopards are distinctive and unique to each animal and are called ‘rosettes’.
Black leopards may have dark fur almost looking as though it is completely black, but they also have the same spots. Some of the black leopards are mistakenly called ‘black panthers’.
Female leopards have very nurturing natures. In one filming for National Geographic, the crew witnessed a leopard killing a baboon to eat.
When the leopard noticed a baby baboon clinging to the dead mother, the leopard carried the baby into a tree, protected it, groomed and cuddled it, and cared for it as she would have for her own baby.