Leopard Definition and Meaning

The leopard is an extremely fascinating animal that, with its black-spotted yellow fur, makes itself noticed in the African and Asian savannah. The leopard is hard to spot. Partly because it typically resides in places where it is difficult to spot this breathtaking animal. In addition, it can also be difficult to experience the leopard itself. The leopard is an endangered species, and there are now very few places where the leopard lives freely. You may be lucky enough to meet it on the “The Big Five” safari in Tanzania .

Facts about the leopard

Location: Africa and Asia
Life expectancy: 12 years in nature
Weight: Females: 30-80 kilos, Males: 40-100 kilos
Size: 45 to 80 centimeters in height
Food: The leopard is a predator, eating everything from insects to mammals
Quantity: About 250,000
Fun fact: A black panther is actually a leopard – just black.


The male leopard is generally larger than the female leopard. The size of the leopard therefore varies between 45 to 80 centimeters high and 90 to 190 centimeters in length (without tail). The leopard has an average weight of about 30 to 100 kilos, and is thus the smallest of the four large cats in the cat family. The leopard is known for its distinctive spotted fur, which means that when you see it, it completely takes your breath away. But what many do not know is that the leopard exists in two guises, namely the spotted one we know and the completely black leopard. The black leopard is not seen on the savannah, but mostly in rainforests.


The leopard is a predator. Unlike other cats, the leopard has a large variety of food to choose from. The food can consist of everything from antelopes to beetles. However, the bulk of the leopard’s food consists of ungulates, which they pull up into the trees when they need to eat. They do so so that they have swapped completely for themselves and thus cannot be disturbed. The leopard has a very optimistic way of hunting its prey. It does not really have any tactics, and therefore jumps on any prey when given the chance. The leopard is also the only predator that can hunt adult chimpanzees and gorillas. But this is not the leopard’s first choice, as monkeys can be a dangerous acquaintance that can end up hurting the leopard.

Leopards regularly drink water if it is nearby. Otherwise, the leopard can also survive on the blood of its prey, and thus gets fluid that way through. The leopard is thus not dependent on having to drink fresh water every day. The leopard hunts at night to avoid dehydration and dehydration.


The males only seek out the females when the females are in heat and thus ready to mate. The female is pregnant about three months, where she then gives birth to 2 or 3 pups. Like the lion, it is normal that only the female takes care of the rearing of the young. However, it may happen that the male leopard adopts the young and helps with the upbringing. When the pups are about 2 years old, they leave the mother, and a year later they can help to make a family themselves, because they have become sexually mature here.


Leopards are definitely not herd animals and above all prefer to live alone. This is where the leopard feels best. The leopard is only social during the 6 to 7 days when the female is ready to mate, only the two sexes are connected to each other. The leopard usually lives only in its own territory and wants to maintain its territory as well as possible. The way it marks its territory is, like many other animals, by urinating its territory and, in addition, scratching trees. It has no trouble finding its way back to its territory, even though it has been gone for a long time.


The leopard is a member of the cat family, where it is related to the lion, tiger and jaguar. It is thus the smallest cat of the big cats in the cat family that you can be lucky enough to experience with a trip to Sri Lanka . In addition, the leopard is also in the Felidae family. In the Felidae family, all cats have spotted fur, which is why it can be difficult to distinguish between them. Knowing what to look for, however, is to spot the difference between jaguars, cheetahs and leopards. It is especially with the body shape, the shape and pattern of the spots that the big difference is revealed. The leopard has round and smaller spots, where the jaguar has polygonal rosettes and finally the cheetah has simple black spots distributed on its body. In addition, the cheetah has a longer body and much smaller head than the leopard.

Travelers’ questions about the leopard

Climbing leopards?

Yes, the leopard is the cat species in the cat family that crawls most in trees on the savannah. Therefore, the leopard can also have habitat in forests, rainforest and on the savannah. They move best where there are trees or dense shrubbery where they can hide. Although the leopard spends most of its time on the ground, they climb brilliantly. The leopard hunts at night, and is therefore nocturnal. During the day, the leopard spends time in a tree or hidden in dense shrubbery, where it sleeps. The leopard also uses the trees, shrubs or in rock crevices to store their prey when they have eaten their fill.

Is a black panther a leopard?

Yes, a leopard can be as spotted as the leopard we know, but it can also be completely black. It was once thought that the panther was a distinctive animal species in itself and that it was part of the cat family. But today it has been found out that the panther is a leopard. That is, the “panther” is not a specific animal, but actually a term used for a larger feline, such as leopards but also for jaguars. Jaguars are also available in black.

The name “panther” is also used in some countries for smaller domestic cats. Here, however, it is not the completely black color that characterizes a panther, but the classic gray color. A leopard can therefore in some cases be in other colors, but when you get very close to a “panther”, you can sense the black dots in the fur of the leopard.

What is the survival rate for leopard cubs?

Unfortunately, there is a really low survival rate for small leopard cubs. Over half of the leopard cubs die before they reach the age of one year. They are either killed by other predators or by other leopards. Surviving leopard cubs become self-sufficient after about 18 months, then there is a lot of difference between what the female leopard and the male leopard do. The young female leopards usually live very close to their home, where they grew up. The reason for this is that they can then follow their mother when she gets laid off a prey. The young male leopards, on the other hand, move further away from their place of residence. They do this to establish their own hunting grounds and start mating after the age of two.

Facts about the leopard

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