Leopard, Luiperd, Panthera pardus
Leopard (Luiperd - Panthera pardus)
English: Leopard
Afrikaans: Luiperd
Scientific: Panthera pardus

A large cat like animal with a strong build. The color and size can vary from region to region, but generally golden-brown on top, fading to white under the body. Behind the ears are black and white markings. The tail is very long.

Throughout South Africa, in areas with good cover and enough food. In particular the mountain ranges on the southern Cape and the less disturbed areas in the north of the country. Often associated with mountains, ravines, river bush, etc.

Unique Features
  • Spots
    • Rosette shaped black spots on the body.
      • On the legs and head the spots can fuse together to form single botches.
    • On the body the spots form a round pattern which is darker in the center.
  • Tail
    • The body pattern extends onto the tail. It is generally golden-brown and spotted above, and white underneath.
    • Very long tail, almost half the body length.
  • Other
    • Black lines under the throat.

Compared To Similar Species
  • Cheetah
    • Cheetah's spots are dots, not rosettes.
    • Cheetah has clear tear marks on the face. Leopard has no such markings.
    • Cheetah has longer legs.
    • Cheetah's tail ends in black and white rings.
  • Serval
    • Serval's spots are dots and stripes, not rosettes.
    • Serval has larger ears.
    • Serval has a shorter tail.
    • Serval's tail doesn't have any white, and ends in black rings.
    • Serval has longer legs.
    • Serval has faint tear marks on the face. Leopard has no such markings.