Description – Leopards
Nature in her ways is tight-lipped of offering camouflage environments for both predators and its prey. Predator’s ability to blend well hand in hand with its climbing, sprinting, and nocturnal skills place them on top of the food chain. Leopards exhibit a highly secretive and shy character that makes it tough to track unlike other members of the feline family. They invade regions beyond its territory in search of new hunting grounds in the veil of night. Leopards have a territory imprinted as its hunting ground for survival and are well defended from gatecrashers other than during the mating season.
Leopards are found in Central and Southern Asia, India, China, and Africa. With particular and much-characterized spot coating, each Leopard is novel. Inhabitants of lavish green wildernesses have a deeper yellow coat with dark spots contrasted to the ones residing in hills and valleys. The plumage difference in an adaptation skill by the climate and habitat of the geography. The males are larger than the females reaching 6 feet in length and weighing up to 30 kg. The tail is shorter than the body, it helps maintain balance while climbing and hunting.
Leopards are the only members of the cat family those capable of hunting from an elevation. They can leap from the tree top or a cliff. It uses freefall as a technique waiting patiently at the treetop or camouflage among the bushes and rocks to bring down the prey. They are termed invincibly attributable to their ability to hunt and vanish least expectedly. On hunting, within no time the prey is hauled to the treetops or bushes to escape the scavengers. Many a time, the prey is robbed off by starving Hyenas and Wild dogs those trail the silent hunters for a free meal.
Leopards can have up to five cubs in a litter. In a litter, on average, two to three cubs are being observed on a broader scale. It is far-fetched that all cubs make it to adulthood. Cubs are under constant threat from Hyenas, Lions, and Wild dogs. Unlike other big cats, the mother brings up the cubs on her own. Leopards hide the cubs in bushes and fallen tree trunks to avoid predators. Mother Leopards keep the cubs in their vicinity and communicate via soft calls. The cubs are often shifted to a new den to confound the predators. It takes two months for the offspring to learn and begin climbing. Till then, the danger lurks around.
Leopards have built up a liking in living close to human settlements due to habitat loss. With habitat loss being one of the significant concerns, Leopards target cattle and pets as prey. Inferable from their mysterious nature, they are difficult to spot and continue sharing common grounds with humans. On the other hand, Leopards in the wild are being still hunted by poachers for their fur and teeth. In certain nations, the fur coat is worn and used for religious practices. Leopards’ populace has decreased over the years and protection is an absolute necessity.