The beautiful majestic Leopard is the second largest of Africa’s large cats. Leopards have distinctive black spots contrasted with a golden-yellow background, while they also have singular black spots on the limbs and head. Their tails have a white tip on the underside, and their head and body length is 1.6 to 2.1 metres. Males weigh from 20-90kg while females are slighter smaller weighing 17-60kg, but both of them have a standing height from 7-800mm at the shoulders. Leopard’s diet are extremely varied and thus they can survive on almost anything. However, they prefer to feed on medium to small-sized antelopes, but they can also feed on Baboons, foxes, fish, Hyrax and reptiles. Indeed, Leopards are so adaptable that it’s not uncommon for them to live on the outskirts of towns and other small settlements. Leopards are non-seasonal breeders and thus can give birth to litters year-round. The gestation period is 3 and a half months and the litters usually numbers from 2 to 3 cubs. The mother will go to great lengths to hide the cubs from their predators which includes Lion, Cheetah and Hyena. Cubs stay with their mother for at least a year during which time they are taught how to hunt and learn the survival skills it needs to survive on its own. Generally they are solitary animals that are nocturnal, hiding during the day and coming out at night to feed, but occasionally they do hunt in some areas in the daytime. Their hunting styles entail stalking prey and then making the kill by pouncing on them, but with larger prey they kill with a holding bite to the throat which suffocates them. They then pluck the carcass of fur before feeding on the softest part of the body. The remains of the carcass and stomach contents will be buried by the Leopard in sand and grass. Leopards are also very agile climbers so can sometimes be seen lifting a carcass onto a tree if they have competition in their territory from other predators such as Lions. Leopards generally tolerates a variety of climatic conditions and they are found in numerous types of habitats ranging from coastal areas and up to 2000 metres above sea level in forests, mountains, bush, deserts and rocky areas. They are also not dependent on fresh water, but do require camouflage in thick bush or rocky areas. But other than this they are an incredibly adaptable animal. Today, Leopards are found all across sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Namibia, though their historical range has dwindled in recent years due to mainly to habitat destruction.

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