Big Cat of the City: The Leopard

This was a tough one because there are 8 subspecies.  All of them look the same, so getting the pictures was a pain.  I gave up and decided to simply go for a general thing.  There isn’t much difference between them.  Let’s talk about their status first because that will lead into another topic.

Leopards are endangered in Central Asia and Sri Lanka.  They are critically endangered in Russia, Middle East, and Java.  They are endangered for three main reasons.  As you can guess, poaching for pelts is one of them.  A bigger one is being killed by humans out of fear or to protect livestock/pets/family.  Finally, you have the biggest one in habitat loss, which leads to a very dangerous situation.

Leopards hunting in cities!

The other big cats don’t typically go into urban areas for food, but the leopard seems to be adapting to this option.  Night falls and they enter the streets from nearby jungles and forests.  They’ll mostly go after pets, but they may attack a human out of desperation or, more likely, fear.  Although, there are some reports that they will go for unsupervised children, but that is rare.  So, there are a lot more leopard attacks than other big cats solely because they aren’t leaving the areas humans take over.  They’re staying and figuring out how to continue hunting.

So, what is a leopard?  This is one of the big cats and is found throughout Africa and Asia.  They are spotted like cheetahs and jaguars.  Most people will probably get a good visual concept off of that.  One could say they’re kind of like muscular cheetahs, but that wouldn’t be fair.  Leopards are built for stealth and climbing instead of sprinting speed.  Climbing is very important because it allows them to hide food and escape their own predators such as lions, tigers, wild dog packs, and hyena packs.  So, as strong as the leopard is, it isn’t without its fair share of enemies.  That might be why it’s so vicious too.

Some fun leopard facts:

  • The black panther is actually a black leopard.  They still have their spots if you look closely.
  • The black spots on their fur are called ‘rosettes’ because they resemble roses.
  • A leopard will stash food in tree branches.  This doesn’t mean the dead animal will stay up there and can fall.  So, one has to be careful about this if vacationing in leopard territory.
  • Leopards can run 58km/h and leap 6 meters forward.
  • They are solitary creatures that only meet up to mate.  They mark their territory through urine, poop, and tree scratches.
  • Leopards are primarily nocturnal.
  • Litters usually have 2-3 cubs.  The mother raises them until they are about two and can hunt for themselves.
  • They are very difficult to locate and track in the wild.  In fact, they are considered the most elusive of the big cats.

How about some pictures and videoes?

Rare Black Spotted

I want to make a note on something about the next one.  This attack was shown on a video I watched a few weeks ago at school.  They guy you see being attacked in the still-shot is someone who is trying educate about leopards.  He talked about not blaming the animal and how it was scared.  I think he said he made a mistake too, but I don’t remember if I’m mixing it up with something else.  All I know is that he made it clear that leopards don’t typically kill humans outside of self-defense and this one was terrified trying to find a way out of the area.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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28 Responses to Big Cat of the City: The Leopard

  1. Amazing creatures. Adaptable as it gets from jungle to desert. I’ve read quite a bit about them stalking towns and cities. At one time, there were supposedly a pair living inside a soccer stadium in South Africa.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The urban hunting is kind of like with coyotes and raccoons. We look at our paved landscape and think it’s for humans only, but all sorts of animals still find their way in and scrounge for a living.

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  3. These big cats are magnificent. Great videos and photos, Charles.

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  4. V.M.Sang says:

    The leopard and baby baboon is lovely, but I wonder what happened to the baby without its mother. Would whoever filmed the interaction rescue it? It would surely die without a rescue.

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    • V.M.Sang says:

      The leopard in the school clearly shows how the animal is trying to get out and only attacks through fear.
      Beautiful animals. What a pity they are hunted for their pelts. The fur looks so much better on them than some for rich person’s vanity.

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    • Many who record these things don’t get involved. It’s the belief that nature shouldn’t be interfered with. Once the baby baboon is adopted by a human, they’re on their way to no longer being able to survive in the wild. So it’s a difficult choice.

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      • V.M.Sang says:

        Pity about the baby baboon. Still, I understand the not interfering concept.

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      • Yeah. Although, I don’t think they could have done anything here. The baby was one day old and barely fed before the mother was killed. The leopard was caring for it until the morning when it saw the baby had died, so there was no way to get to it. Not without angering the leopard.

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  5. Pingback: *Press This* Big Cat of the City: The Leopard #266 | Its good to be crazy Sometimes

  6. Jennie says:

    Wow, especially that black spotted one.

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