The African Leopard – Beautiful Predator
A mysterious and beautiful animal, the leopard is rather elusive and is therefore rarely spotted. It is amazingly powerful, an accomplished climber, is fearless and has the ability to kill animals far larger than itself. The spectacular coloring of the leopard is made up of either white or golden brown with black spots and rosettes.
The leopard is a relatively light animal, weighing in at around 65kg’s. It’s easy
to imagine that the majority of that weight is sheer muscle because of the
immense speeds that the leopard is able to reach, although only for short distances. The explosive jumping power of the leopard can be seen by its ability
to leap over 20 feet horizontally and 10 feet vertically. To put that in
perspective, from a standing start a leopard can jump over an elephant!
The African leopard isn’t a very social animal and almost goes out of its way to
avoid contact with other leopards. The roaming range of a leopard will usually
overlap slightly that of its closest ‘neighbor’. The male’s roaming area is much
larger than the females and males will not tolerate another leopard in its area
unless its for the purpose of mating.
The leopard is an incredibly cunning, fast and dangerous animal. Not only are they
impressive climbers, but they can also haul a kill, such as a buck, up into
the tree to enjoy its meal at leisure. For the most part, leopards are nocturnal but will
often be spotted during in the early morning or late afternoon in many of South Africa’s superb game reserves.