31 Dec
The Leopard

The African Leopard
'Secretive, silent, smooth and supple as a piece of silk, the leopard is an animal of darkness, but even in the dark it travels alone.'
There's no other large carnivore as elusive and shy as the Leopard.

The African Leopard is a stalk and ambush hunter usually creeping up to about a few feet from its potential prey before making a final pounce and delivering a fatal bite to the neck paralyzing the prey. They keep their jaws clamped and eventually suffocate the prey to death (it’s a very rare sight to see leopards chasing after prey in case of an unsuccessful pounce)

The leopard has the broadest diet of larger obligate carnivores and can include beetles in buffalo dung, small mammals and even other carnivores. Leopards preferentially select prey weighing 10–40 kg, regardless of the presence of lions or other dominant competitors. In the African savannas, the impala is an important and stable prey source for leopards and forms their staple diet even in years of drought.

The beauty of this hunting machine is the fact that once it has made its kill, a leopard can drag a carcass even twice its size to a tree and cache in a branch, away from reach of other predators. Although leopards can kill prey many times their size, they rarely do so, probably due to the risks inherent in attacking large prey as a solitary predator.

They are solitary felines and are only seen together with other leopards during mating season or in case of females with their cubs.

They inhabit a range of habitats, varying from scrubland, semi-arid, savanna, bush, riverine forests, mountainous lowland forests and rocky outcrops.

They are found in the following regions: Masai Mara Game Reserve, Meru National park, Nairobi National Park, Samburu National Park.