Scientific Name: Panthera pardus
IUCN Status: Vulnerable
Weight: 46-165 pounds
Encompassing nine subspecies, the leopard is the most widely distributed of all the big cats. The leopard is a powerful cat with very muscular forequarters, slender hindquarters and a long tail. The body size varies widely and correlates with changes in climate and prey availability. Background colors vary from shades of creamy yellow, buff grey, orange, tawny-brown and dark rufous-brown. The body is covered with densely packed rosettes, each a cluster of small spots around a normally unspotted centre that is slightly darker than the body colour. The black spotted leopard (Black Panther) is a variance in color, and is a recessive trait, which occurs widely and is usually associated with humid subtropical, tropical, and montane forests habitats.
The leopard is renowned for its ability to exploit an extreme variety of prey species. Due to its vast range and broad habitat tolerance, the leopard has the most diverse diet of any feline, including mammals, birds, fish, ungulates, primates, and reptiles totaling over 200 different prey items.
Leopards can breed year round. Gestation is 90-106 days. Litters usually number 1-3 cubs, though they can number up to 6.