Leopard, Black

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Physical Characteristics

Leopards show a great diversity in physical appearance throughout the species. In colder climates, their coats are grey in coloration. In rainforest habitats, it is a deep shade of gold, while in desert climates it is often a softer cream color. Their telltale spots, properly known as rosettes, vary in size and shape depending on the geographic location they habituate. It is a common misconception that black panthers are a separate sub-species of leopard, but it is only a common name for melanistic or black leopards.

Habitat & Diet

Leopard sub-species have a natural range running from the southern tip of Africa all the way to the northern coast of China. They make their homes in all sorts of climates. From the rocky crags of the Himalayas to the humid jungles of Central Africa, Leopards are as versatile as they are physically impressive. They are exceptional hunters that consist mainly off of mid-sized mammals, like impalas and monkeys. They are very opportunistic and have been observed to take down prey as small as rodents and as large as juvenile giraffes.

Social Behavior

Leopards are solitary animals, although they have a high territory overlap with other large predators. As they are much smaller than tigers or lions, they are prone to retreating up trees where the larger cats have a hard time reaching. They will also haul their kills up trees so that any possible competitors cannot steal their food. Black leopards are much more temperamental than their spotted cousins. Black leopards can produce either black or spotted cubs. 


Meet our Residents

Fascinating Facts

    • Although they can’t keep up with a cheetah, leopards can still reach 36 miles per hour while sprinting and clear 20 feet of space when taking a running leap!
    • Leopards are the only natural predator to both chimpanzees and gorillas.
    • Despite the color differences, black leopards and spotted leopards are of the same species.

Status In The Wild

Leopards are classified as Near Threatened, and although they have a wide natural range, they have lost much of their historic habitats in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa due to human encroachment and poaching.

Waystation Residents

Click on the pictures below to meet our resident animals!

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