Class — mammalia
Order — сarnivora
Family — felidae
Genus – panthera
The black color of panthers is a manifestation of melanism caused by a gene mutation. The skin of the panther is not perfectly black, and there are always more or less prominent spots on it. Male are larger, averaging 60 kg (130 lb). Females weigh about 35 to 40 kg (77 to 88 lb) on average.
Itlives in Southeast Asia and Africa.
Leopards are solitary creatures that only spend time with others when they are mating or raising young. They are nocturnal and spend their nights hunting instead of sleeping.
Leopards spend a lot of their time in trees.
Leopards are carnivores, but they aren't picky eaters. They will prey on any animal that comes across their path, such as Thomson's gazelles, cheetah cubs, baboons, rodents, monkeys, snakes, large birds, amphibians, fish, antelopes, warthogs and porcupines.
Leopards are ambush predators; they crouch low to sneak up to their prey and pounce before it has a chance to react. A leopard will kill its prey with one swift bite to the neck, breaking it.
Black and spotted individuals of leopards and jaguars are freely interbreed and produce fertile offspring.
Throughout their natural range, leopards have no distinctive breeding season. After a gestation period that lasts for around three months, the female leopard gives birth to between 2 and 6 cubs that are born blind and weigh just half a kilo. Leopard cubs are incredibly vulnerable in the wild and so remain hidden in dense vegetation until they are able to follow their mother around at between 6 and 8 weeks of age. Weaned at around three months old, leopard cubs will remain with their mother for another 18 months until she is ready to mate again and encourages her young to independently establish their own territories.
Life expectancy reaches 21 years.
It is necessary to keep leopards in an outdoor enclosure and in winter it is required to have a warm space for them. The enclosure is supposed to be a metal construction, 3 meters high, covered with solid metal netting. One wall is usually made of solid wood boards, covered with tin. There is a small house next to this wall that served a shelter in a storm, a delivery room for a pregnant female, and a place where the animal is closed during a cage cleaning. The door is thought to be a frame that should be closed with the help of a cable system or rollers.
The floor is made of wood, concrete or asphalt. The enclosure is equipped with trees, wood shelves; a small swimming pool can be also organized.
To protect the top of the enclosure from the wind, one third of it should be covered with a roof; one third of walls adjacent to a blind wall should be covered too.
Holders for bird feeders drinking bowls should be installed in the enclosure, too. Food and water are given only in the absence of animals. The main diet of leopards in captivity is low fat beef. Wheat, rye bran, oil, wheat and barley sprouts are given to cats for peristalsis stimulation.
The diet should necessary contain so-called “alive” food: mortified rabbits, rats,
mice and pigeons.
The food is given once a day, 6 days a week. Thereisafastingdayoncea week.
The food scheme is the following: meat is given 3 days a week, 1 day – fish, 2 days – “alive” food. 3.5 kilos of meat is given per day. The diet should contain special vitamins with calcium supplements.