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Sunday Jukani animal Facts

Come back next week for more exciting fun facts from SAASA and Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary here on Lets Go Big Tunes blog pageThis post is sponsored by SAASA and Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary

Fun Facts about Leopards

Leopard – fun facts

1 - Because of its adapted retinas, leopards can see seven times better in the dark than humans.

2 - Leopards are spectacular hunters. Not only are they quite fast and can run up to 58km/h, but are also famous for their incredible agility and strength to climb trees while dragging a kill that is sometimes heavier than their body weight.

3 - How do you tell the difference between a leopard, cheetah and jaguar? Look at the spots! Leopards have rosette spots on the body and solid black spots on the legs, head and sides. There are also no black facial stripes, unlike cheetahs. Compared to jaguars, leopards do not have smaller spots inside the polygonal rosettes.

4 - To recognise a male from a female take a look at the difference in size. Males are usually much larger and stockier and have a significantly bigger head and paws compared to females. Male bushveld leopards can weigh up to 90kgs, with female’s around 60kgs. The Cape leopard (not a separate species or sub-species) is much smaller with males around 35kg and females around 20kg.

5 - When it comes to hunting for food, these big cats know their stuff. When a leopard spots a potential meal, it approaches with legs bent and head low, so as not to be seen. It then stalks its prey carefully and quietly, until it’s five to ten metres within range. Then…. pounce! The leopard dashes forward and takes down its victim with a bite to the throat or neck. Small prey, such as small birds or mice, will receive a fatal blow from the feline’s paw. Ouch!

6 - Even though most photographs show leopards in trees, research reveals that they spend most of their time on the ground. Leopards use trees as the perfect escape point from predators; to keep their kills out of the reach of scavengers, and to get the best vantage point.

7 - The leopard is the most elusive and secretive of the large felids. They are extremely difficult to trace and locate in the wild.

8 - Leopards are predominantly solitary animals that have large territories. While male territories are larger than females and tend to overlap, individuals usually only tolerate intrusion into ranges for mating. They mark their ranges with urine and leave claw marks on trees to warn others to stay away.

9 - During the National Geographic programme ‘Eye of the Leopard’, a wild leopard killed a baboon in order to feed herself. However, upon noticing an infant baboon clinging to the dead baboon, the leopard amazingly carried the infant up to the safety of the tree to guard her from hyenas. She groomed and cuddled the baby throughout the night, caring for him/her as she would her own cub.

10 - The African leopard, found across a variety of habitats in sub-Saharan Africa, may be the most popular type of leopard in the world, but it is far from alone: eight other sub-species of leopard are found throughout Asia and the Middle-East. These include the Indian leopard, the Javan leopard, the Arabian leopard, the Anatolian leopard, the North Chinese leopard, the Amur leopard, the Indochinese leopard, and the Sri-Lankan leopard.

Come back next week for more exciting fun facts from SAASA and Jukani Wildlife Sanctuary here on Lets Go Big Tunes blog page

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