The leopard is the smallest of the four big cats. It could once be found in Africa, South Africa, Siberia, Asia, India, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia and China. But due to radical hunting and loss of habitat, the leopard is now mainly found in sub-Saharan Africa with fragments populations in the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. Sadly, they are on the “near threatened” list.
Though the leopard is the smallest of the big cats it has some surprising abilities. They are the most elusive, shrewdest, and secretive of the big cats. They are the strongest climbers and are capable of killing prey larger than themselves. Their hunting techniques are agile and extremely stealth. They are the only big cat that carries its prey up into trees and they can run at speeds approaching 35 mph. Leopard’s are agile, notoriously stealth, cunning, strong, sure footed and beautiful.
I was fortunate to find this fella basking in the sun on one of my trips to the Baltimore Zoo. After I took my photo, I just simply enjoyed watching him…….be…..regal.