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5

leopards can hear 5 times more sound than humans, including the ultrasonic squeaks made by mice

Leopard crouching in tree.

Of the large cats, leopards, like this one in Africa, are the most arboreal; they have long tails to help them to balance on narrow tree branches.

 

 

Leaps and Bounds Above the Rest

Leopards are known to drop onto their prey from trees, climb nimbly up snow-capped mountains, and move through tall savanna grass without even a ripple. These regal cats use trees more than most others, relying on them for vantage points to stalk prey and later dragging their catch up to enjoy it in safety.

 

 

Amur leopard juxtaposed with a photo of a leopard pelt.

Left: The Amur leopards of China and Russia are under siege from a variety of pressures including poaching of the leopards and their prey, loss of habitat due to forest fires, inbreeding due to tiny, isolated populations, human development and activities in their habitat.

20

feet a leopard can leap forward in a single bound

Crossing Paths

Leopards have been hunted to the brink of extinction. Sometimes they’re killed because they’re seen as pests, but largely, leopard coats drive the demand. In addition, the trees that leopards rely on are being cut down, contributing to the cycle of human-wildlife conflict.

Leopard on a dirt road

Together, we can
turn things around.

10

feet a leopard can leap in a single bound—straight up!

side by side comparative camera trap photos of leopards in Africa used by Scientists to I.D. individuals.

Wildlife cameras deployed by San Diego Zoo Global researchers capture an image of a male leopard on June 30, 2017 (left). After comparison, it was determined that this male was the same one that a tour guide photographed on his cell phone on June 10, 2017 (right). The red boxes indicate characteristic coat markings that are unique to this leopard. (photos: Nicholas Pilfold)

 

 

Connecting the Dots

Conservation begins with understanding. We are working with various partners to monitor leopard populations through photos taken with trail cameras. The patterns of spots on their fur are as unique as our fingerprints, and being able to track individuals is immensely helpful in understanding the secret lives of this elusive species. We are also working to help build sustainable and genetically diverse leopard populations to help undo some of the damage that’s been done.

 

 

A pair of leopard cubs sitting on a broken tree branch

Panther?

a "black panther" in Africa and Asia is really just a leopard with a gene that makes its coat dark

San Diego Zoo Global is leading the fight to end extinction for endangered species like the leopard. In cooperation with partners around the world, we’re making a difference—one animal at a time. But we can’t do it without your help.

Leopard sitting in tree