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Fascinating facts about leopards
Ready to discover some interesting facts about leopards ?
In this post we will look at things like:
- what makes Leopards so elusive? Why are they such secretive predators?
- what sounds they make i.e. do they purr like domesticated cats?
- what they prefer to eat,
- the classic hunting techniques they use and
- most importantly – what threatens their existence.
These African cats are the most common large cats in Africa – so it is ironic that it is also the cat that is the most difficult to spot when you are in the African bush.
This is due to the fact that they are rather shy, secretive and mainly nocturnal.
In game reserves they have grown completely accustomed to vehicles but do not expect them too simply stroll across the road however.
These animals are very agile climbers and pound for pound, the strongest climber of the large cats.
To spot them you will usually need a pair of binoculars and scan the tree tops on the horizon.
As you look for them in trees, you may notice them often draped along thick tree limbs in an effort to escape the midday heat.
You my also be lucky enough to see them feasting on a kill they dragged aloft into a tree.
They do this to keep their prize safe from scavengers such as hyenas.
Are these animals very territorial?
They are very solitary animals.
They defend territories against other leopards of the same sex but the territories of males overlap those of females.
They do seem to tolerate a certain level of overlap with their neighbors.
Rivals appear to avoid each other in some sort of “time-sharing system”.
They advertise occupation of a territory by marking it with urine and faeces.
They also leave claw marks on the bark of trees and use vocal signals to mark their territory.
These cats have astonishing powers of navigation and homing.
This capacity that has hampered attempts to relocate them away from human settlement when they become stock raiders.
What sounds do leopards make?
They have a distinctive contact call that sounds remarkably like a wood saw.
This call allows territorial neighbors to keep away from each other, and males and females to find each other.
These animals growl when aggressive and spit and snarl when they feel threatened.
What do leopards eat?
One reason behind their success lies in their diet, which spans a very wide range.
They eat almost any vertebrate, including:
- fish, and
- mammals ranging in size from dung beetles and porcupines to kudu.