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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Leopard

Afrikaans name: Luiperd

Seeing a leopard is the ultimate sighting in a game reserve

Leopard photographed near Shingwedzi Camp

Photo © Steven Herbert

Panthera pardus

Interesting facts about Leopards

The Leopard is a member of the Big 5 that also includes Lion, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino.

A Leopard's coat varies in colour from a pale yellow to a darker brown or even greyish in some areas. The fur on the underside of the is a pale colour. Irrespective of the colour of the coat, the Leopard is marked with black rosettes.

Leopards are much smaller than Lions. Males can weigh up to 90 kg and females up to 60 kg. Leopards from different habitats show a remarkable difference in sizes.

Leopards may be found over a wide distribution in South Africa and Africa. They are able to adapt to a variety of habitats.

They are normally solitary and are predominantly active at night. They are very secretive and their colouration makes them very difficult to see.

Leopards tend to hunt smaller antelopes such as Impala. Normally they will drag their prey up a tree to protect it from other predators such as Lions and Hyenas.

Young Leopards remain with their mothers for up to 2 years.


Leopard spots close up

Photo © Steven Herbert

Leopard on the rocks

Photo © lienkie - Fotolia.com

Leopard with kill

Photo © lienkie - Fotolia.com

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References and further reading

African Wildlife - A photographic safari - Author: Nigel and Wendy Dennis - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 22

Africa's Big Cats and Other Carnivores - Author: Nigel Dennis - Year Published: 2001 - Page: 24

An Introduction to the Larger Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Joanna Dalton - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 138

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 33

Caravan & Outdoor Life - Issue 697 - Author: - Year Published: 2020 - Page: 58

Chris and Tilde Stuart's Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 160

Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Year Published: 1997 - Page: 274

Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Year Published: 2001 - Page: 160

Field Guide to the Mammals of the Kruger National Park - Author: U. de V. Pienaar et al. - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 90

Kruger National Park Questions and Answers - Author: P.F. Fourie - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 241

Kruger National Park, Visitor's Map - Author: - Year Published: 1996 - Page: 3

Land Mammals of Southern Africa - A field guide - Author: Reay HN Smithers - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 100

Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Burger Cillier - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 49

Mammals of the Kruger and other National Parks - Author: The National Parks Board - Year Published: 1980 - Page: 22

Questions and Answers - Mammals of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Year Published: 1990 - Page: 4

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 417

Sasol First Field Guide to Animal Tracks of Southern Africa - Author: Louis Liebenberg - Year Published: 2003 - Page: 37

Signs of the Wild - 3rd Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 101

Signs of the Wild - 5th Edition - Author: Clive Walker - Year Published: 1996 - Page: 96

Wild Issue 36 - Author: - Year Published: 2016 - Page: 11

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 212

List of South African Mammals

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