1. The leopard is the most widespread member of the predator cat family, and can be found in Africa south of the Sahara, southern Asia, and the Far East.
2. The leopard’s spots, or “rosettes,” are circular in East African leopards but square in southern African leopards.
3. Leopards can live for 14 years in the wild, but can live for 20 years in captivity.
4. Leopards store their prey carcasses in trees out of reach of lions and hyenas, for later consumption. The carcass can weigh up to three times as much as the leopard.
5. Leopards can run more than 60 km/h for short distances, leap more than 6 meters horizontally and 3 meters vertically.
6. A leopard’s night vision is up to 7 times better than a human’s, and its hearing is up to 5 times better.
7. Leopard territories vary greatly, from 4sqkm - 100sqkm depending on type of environment and prey density. A female's territory is usually a third smaller than a male's.
8. Leopards are born with their eyes shut to protect against sunlight and prevent cubs from wandering. Within two weeks their eyes are open.
9. Leopard cubs are hidden in secluded dens and moved regularly by the
mother, possibly to avoid the build-up of scent or the proliferation of parasites such as ticks and fleas.
10. Although leopards have a reputation of being primarily nocturnal, long-term observations have revealed that a considerable number of their hunts take place during daytime.
11. In the early 1960s, leopard poaching reached an all-time high when an estimated 50,000 leopards were killed in East Africa.
12. The leopard hunts a wide variety of prey species, feeding on everything from insects and rodents to large ungulates such as giraffe and buffalo calves which may weigh in excess of 200 pounds.