435 Views as at 2010-05-01

Camera Nikon D50
Lens Sigma 70-300 DG

THE LEOPARD – Panthera pardus

CAPTURED LOCATION: “The Kruger National Park”, South Africa.

These solitary cats are the largest of the spotted cats of Africa. The weight of an adult male is about 60kg and the female about 30kg. The leopards of the mountains of the southern and South Western Cape tend to be smaller. There is considerable color variation over their range from India to Southern Africa.
The so-called ‘black leopard’ is more common in India, Somalia, Ethiopia and Zaire and has also been encountered in South Africa.
Leopards are silent, secretive animals, whose vocalization is a hoarse, rasping cough, repeated at intervals. They move in a casual loping stride, or they may make off at a bouncing gallop, changing to a frost trot. All of their senses are well-developed as their efficient hunting reveals. They like to lie out on high vantage points in the mornings or late evenings, where they may watch for prey. They have a wide habitat tolerance, but prefer forest and the more hilly areas with rocky prominences and hiding places, bushy areas, and tall grass with associated rocky places. They are also found in arid areas, where they will hide up in deserted Ant bear holes. True desert areas are unsuitable, but they may penetrate these areas along treed water-courses.
They are sometimes killed by Lion, Hunting dogs, Spotted Hyenas and crocodiles. The young by hyenas and jackals. Litters of one to six, usually three to four, altricial cubs are produced in caves or other sheltered places with plenty of cover. After about four months they will begin to accompany their mother and make their first kill at about five months.
An extremely wide range of animal food is utilized. They are notorious man-eaters in certain parts of the world, but this is very rare in this sub-region. The major prey taken seems to be small and medium sized antelope, such as adult kudu, wildebeest and hartebeest. Baboons are a favored fare, although leopards have serious trouble with the baboon troops if they foolishly attack a member of the clan too openly. Such animals as bush pigs and warthogs are taken as are jackals. Their liking for the domestic dog is notorious and places, such as the town of Kariba in Zimbabwe, have a distinct absence of these domestic pets. Unusual fare is snakes, porcupines, fish, domestic stock, birds such as guinea fowl, rats, mice and also carrion.
The strength of the leopard is clearly shown in their habit of dragging a very heavy kill up into high branches of a tree to protect it from other scavengers.


leopard, wildlife, predators

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  • Magaret Meintjes
    Magaret Meintjesover 5 years ago

  • nkirouac
    nkirouacover 5 years ago

    Beautiful animal!

  • Thank you so much for your time and kind comment, take care!

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • Scott  d'Almeida
    Scott d'Almeidaover 5 years ago

    fantastic ;

  • Thank you for your time and kind comment Scott, much appreciated, take care!

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • Nith
    Nithover 5 years ago

    wow so smart capture

  • Thank you so much for a very kind comment Nith, much appreciated! Take care!

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • Paul Lindenberg
    Paul Lindenbergover 5 years ago

    Super Cool Mags.

  • Thank you Paul, that is so sweet, hugs xx

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • Anne-Marie Bokslag
    Anne-Marie Bok...over 5 years ago

    Wonderful animal Mag! And thanks for the description. (How is your husband doing?)

  • Thank you dear friend, he just went back for all the tests after the three months waiting period, awaiting the results and will then take it from there again. The chemo has helped just pray it stays as it is at the moment. Thank you for asking, really appreciate it. Take care dear friend xx

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • Carol  Lewsley
    Carol Lewsleyover 5 years ago

    WOW instant fave. awesome capture Mags

  • Thank you so much my dear friend xxx

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • Lisa  Weber
    Lisa Weberabout 5 years ago

  • I am greatly honoured and very happy, thank you so much African Art & Photography, I really appreciate it.

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • melant1017
    melant1017about 5 years ago

    I love this…so beaautiful indeed :-) Congrats on your TPW feature!


  • Thank you so much Antonio for your great comment and for the feature, I am greatly honoured and thankful, take care!

    – Magaret Meintjes

  • Gail Bridger
    Gail Bridgerabout 5 years ago


  • Thank you so much sweet friend, take care !x

    – Magaret Meintjes

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