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Leopard

Leopards are powerful, muscular creatures, 7 times stronger than humans and are Africa’s most successful hunters. They are extremely adaptable living in both arid regions to rain forests and mountainous terrain.

Distribution:
Leopards occur throughout most of Namibia with an estimated 11 700 animals in the country. Worryingly numbers dropped by 17% between 2011-2019, a combination of human conflict and drought.

Appearance:
They have tawny to yellow fur with black rosettes that don’t have a central spot. The head, belly, & lower parts of the limbs have solid black spots. Males are larger & heavier than females (average 55kgs compared to 35kgs). The underneath of the tail is white to help cubs follow their mother.

Leopard up a tree
Juvenile leopard
Leopard hanging out
Leopard hanging out

Behaviour:
Leopards are solitary, predominantly nocturnal animals, rarely seen with other leopards unless during mating season or a female with her young. They each have a territory that they mark with faeces, urine & claw marks, although a male’s territory may overlap those of several females.
They are skilled climbers & swimmers. They can carry 3.5 times their body weight and often store their kills in trees. This is often how they keep their hard-earned food from other predators.
Although normally silent, they can make a variety of noises – males make a deep raspy growl when threatened but they can also purr when happy, a sound normally heard between a mother & her cubs.

Diet:
Extremely varied depending on what is available – from insects, antelopes, birds & even fruit. They stalk & ambush their prey, pouncing when close enough & clamping their powerful jaws around their kill until they suffocate. For short distances they can reach speeds of 60 km/h. However, if they fail to catch their prey on their first attempt they rarely chase them.

Breeding:
Mating can occur at any time of year & a female raises her young alone. Pregnancy takes c.3 months with a litter of 1-3 cubs. Leopard cubs are born blind & only open their eyes after 6-10 days. They are very vulnerable at this stage so the female will move them every few days. Around 3 months old they will start eating meat. However, it is a year before they can fend for themselves.

Etosha Colouring-in Poster
Etosha colouring-in poster
Etosha poster back
Etosha poster back

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