The leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull, but it’s an extremely strong and agile cat. It kills its prey and hoists it up a tree where it can feed for days undisturbed by hyena and, most time, lion. It can lift two to three times its own body weight and to see one with its prey climbing a tree is a very rare privilege. The females are territorial and the males roam between these territories, in search of females ready for mating.
Leopards are agile and stealthy predators. Although smaller than other members of the Panthera genus, they are able to take larger prey due to their massive skulls that facilitate powerful jaw muscles. Body length is between 95 and 165 cm, and the tail reaches 60 to 110 cm. Shoulder height is 45 to 80 cm. The muscles attached to the scapula are exceptionally strong, which enhance their ability to climb trees. Males are about 30% larger than females, weighing 30 to 91 kg, compared to 23 to 60 kg for females.
Leopards are elusive, solitary and largely nocturnal. Home ranges for male between 30 and 78 square kilometre, and females 15 to 16 square kilometres. There appears to be no overlap of territories between the males but there is an overlap with the females.
The Kill is wedged in the tree where the leopard can feed on the carcass, Hopefully out of reach of a brave lion that might attempt to climb a tree.
A female on the charge through the shrub, notice her difference head size to the male above.
Last photo courtesy of Son-in-law.