By: Binta Introduction
The endangered animal I chose was the leopard. I chose the leopard because I wanted to find out the difference between a leopard and a jaguar. I also wanted to find out why this animal is endangered and what people can do to protect it. The leopard is a large graceful cat. The leopard is a member of the cat family and it’s the third largest member. It lives in Africa (south of the Sahara desert) and in Asia. The leopard could see perfectly in the night. Leopards also have an excellent sense of hearing.
Characteristics of the Leopard
The leopard is a member of the cat family. Leopards are really good hunters. Leopards are good stalkers. Leopards can move so quietly that the animals they are hunting don’t usually notice that leopards are sneaking up on them. Leopards are excellent tree climbers. Leopards are really good at swimming too. Leopards are strong cats. Leopards generally weigh between 60 and 200 pounds. Leopards usually have yellow or brown fur or brown fur with black markings. Leopards have spots on their head, leg and chest. They have rosettes (the rink like shapes on the fur of a leopard or a jaguar) on their back. Leopards are very identical to jaguars however leopards are smaller and lighter than jaguars. Jaguars have spots inside their rosettes. Leopards hardly have spots inside their rosettes. Habitat
Leopards live in Asia and Africa, but they can also be found in different habitats. Leopards live in Rain forests, mountains and deserts. The different subspecies of a leopard live in different places. Persian leopards are one of the largest subspecies of leopards. The Amur leopard lives in eastern Russia and Northern China.
Hunting and Food
Leopards are carnivores (meat eaters). They eat antelope, monkeys, snakes, large birds, wild sheep, wild goats, fish and deer. They even eat animals that were killed by other carnivores. Leopards are excellent hunters. They stalk their prey slowly and quietly. When the leopard is close to its prey, it jumps on it. Leopards kill their prey by biting on its throat. When the leopard catches its prey it usually eats it up in a tree. If theirs meat left over they will eat it the next day. Leopards eat in trees because they don’t want other carnivores to eat their food.
Cubs are blind at first, but they open their eyes when their 7 to 10 days old. The cubs grow quickly by drinking their mother’s milk. When the cubs are 2 moths old they eat their first meat. After the cubs are 1 year old the mother will take them on a hunting trip. She teaches them to be patient, quiet and how to use their camouflage. Before they become 3 years old, they will be fully grown and ready to mate. Leopards live for at least 12 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.
Why are Leopards Endangered ?
Leopards are dangerous to people and people are dangerous to leopards. People hunt leopards for their fur. Around the world people are making homes where leopards usually live. Even though leopards can live in a lot of different habitats some subspecies of leopards are still running out of places to live. When Europeans came to Africa, lots of leopards were killed because they lost their home ranges to farming. Leopards started taking farm animals instead. Farmers shot the leopards or laid out poisoned meat to kill them. In lots of countries in Africa leopards can only be found in National Parks, so they can be protected. Hunting for a sport is still allowed in some countries.
I learned that leopards eat different types of animals. Some of the animals are way taller than leopards. I also learned that leopards live in Africa. I was disappointed to find out that leopards are endangered, because they are killed for their fur, their habitat is replaced by homes and people