Tequila was supposed to be exported to China but due to Covid exporting was stopped and we had the option to buy her in, we told this to our volunteers and Keith (volunteer of us) fell in love and immediately helped us in searching for a friend for her. Shadow our black leopard was then bough in as a friend for tequila.
How do you tell the difference between a leopard, cheetah and jaguar? Look at the spots! Leopards have rosette spots on the body and solid black spots on the legs, head and sides. There are also no black facial stripes, unlike cheetahs. Compared to jaguars, leopards do not have smaller spots inside the polygonal rosettes.
Female leopards protect their young cubs by hiding them in lairs. Lairs can be found in a variety of places, including outcrops of granite boulders, old aardvark holes made in the side of termite mounds, or dense thickets at the bottom of deep galleys. These hiding places serve as a refuge for when the mother is away, as lions and hyenas pose a significant threat to the cubs. The mother changes the lair every few days to eliminate the chances of discovery by other predators.
Leopards are spectacular hunters! Not only are they quite fast and can run up to 58km/h, but are also famous for their incredible agility and strength to climb trees while dragging a kill that is sometimes heavier than their body weight.
Black leopards are seen infrequently in parts of Africa. The difference in colour is not indicative of a separate sub-species, but rather dominance of the dark-coloured pigment melanin in the skin, and is the opposite of albinism. Talking about the leopard’s physical appearance, there is a considerable variation in the coat colour and rosette patterns depending on the location of the animal. In East Africa, the leopard’s rosettes are more circular but tend to be more square-shaped in southern Africa. The yellow coat is paler in the desert regions.
Leopards survive on a variety of prey. For example, in some regions of southern Africa, 80% of their diet comprises of rock hyrax. In the Kalahari Desert, they are known to favour bat-eared fox. Leopards also eat fish, insects, reptiles, birds, rodents, porcupines, mongoose, baboons, genets and monkeys.
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