Panthera pardus

The leopard or panther belongs to cat family and is capable of adapting to diverse environmental conditions and that is why it is distributed over a large range. Much smaller than tiger, it may kill large sized animals like bullock etc. It has dark spots arranged all over the body. It is found throughout Africa and Asia except Siberia and high Tibetian Plateau.In India, it is found almost all over the country. Leopard is an excellent climber and is very strong. In forest, it lives on deer, pig, hare, monkey and rat. It often lifts goats and dogs from villages. Its gestation period varies between 84 and 98 days and breeds throughout the year.

Due to hunting and habitat destruction, the population has declined in the wild. The leopard is Schedule I animal, under the Wildlife Protection Act.