In the wild throughout Africa and Asia there is a silent killer that takes its prey without even being seen. So stealthy that even the most alert of animals don’t know it is there, it is a highly effective killer. In addition to stealth, it also offers power and is able to overpower animals that are larger than itself. This animal is the leopard, a stunning beast that has a fearsome reputation. The leopard is among Africa’s big 5, a handful of animals that are notoriously difficult to hunt. Where the leopard is concerned, it is because it can be so difficult even to find one. It’s not that they are particularly rare, but just that they are so well hidden.
The leopard is a solitary beast, choosing to live and to hunt alone. It is a very effective hunter and is able to take a wide range of prey. It is well known for its tendency to protect its kills by dragging them into the trees where they cannot be reached by other predators or scavengers. They like to spend a lot of time in the trees and are excellent climbers. The leopard is as fascinating as it is beautiful. The more we learn about it, the more amazing facts we discover.
Leopard Fact #10: Big Cats
Leopards are large animals. They may not be as large as other big cats such as lions and tigers, but they are still animals that are very worthy of respect. A male adult leopard will stand at around 60-70 cm (24-28 in) tall at the shoulder, while the females are around 57-64 cm (22-25 in) at the shoulder. Females weigh around 62 - 100 pounds and the males around 80 - 150 pounds. The largest ever recorded leopard was a male that weighed in at 213 lbs.
Not only are they large in size physically, but they are also packed with muscle making them very powerful animals. Such is their strength that they are able to take down prey larger then themselves, even when hunting alone. Other big cats are also powerful but will tend to target smaller prey when hunting alone, only targeting larger animals when hunting in groups.
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