A leopard has a golden speckled body and beautiful yet fierce hunting techniques. Its personality, on the other hand, can be described as isolated, sneaky, and elusive. Leopards are a part of Uganda’s diverse fauna. Semiliki National Park and Wildlife Reserve in the western Rift Valley, Kidepo Valley National Park in the north, Murchison Falls National Park along the famed River Nile, Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Lake Mburo National Park western Uganda are the finest sites to see them. Here are five facts about these exquisite creatures to remember if you are on a safari in Uganda, on a game drive in one of these parks, and you are graced with the sight of them.
Leopards are the tiniest members of the big cat family.
Their stature may have contributed to them being the most agile climbers of all the giant cats. Their habitat is large trees, where they can escape the midday sun and consume their prey in privacy. They can grow to be 92 to 190 centimetres (3 to 6.2 feet) in length, with their tail contributing around 99 centimetres to their overall size. The male and female leopards weigh differently, with the male weighing 36 to 75 kilograms and the female weighing 21 to 60 kilograms. Leopards’ strength has nothing to do with the fact that they are the smallest members of their family. They can carry up to 50 kg of prey up a tree by themselves.
Leopards can adapt to their surroundings.
They can live in any type of habitat, which is why they may be found in numerous parks around Uganda. Leopards can survive in any environment, whether rainforest, woodland, savanna grassland, mountains, shrub regions, or swampy areas. This distinguishes them from other members of the large cat family, such as the lion, which seeks to capture territory near water supplies to thrive.
Leopards aren’t fussy when it comes to food.
The diversity of their carnivorous food has aided their survival in the wild. They may consume practically any vertebrate, including reptiles, fish, warthogs, zebras, antelopes, and wildebeest. They do, however, prefer medium-sized animals such as antelopes. They receive the water content they need to survive from their prey, making it possible for them to go for days without drinking.
Leopards are solitary creatures.
Leopards are solitary animals, typical of the cat family, except for lions, which live in pride. If you see two leopards walking together, the other is a female mating season. The scent of her territorial marks, such as her urine, communicates a female leopard’s desire to mate. For four, five, or six days, they will mate 70 to 100 times each day and even hunt together. This will be followed by a three-month gestation period and the birth of cubs, only two or three of which will survive. Following this, the male leopard may return to its solitary lifestyle.
Leopards are ambush predators
They stalk their prey from a few meters away, ready to ambush if the prey moves in the leopard’s direction. When it gets close enough to the target, it kills it in one swift yet violent move, usually by gripping the neck and breaking it. A single swat of the paw is all that is required for smaller creatures such as rats. The leopard’s speed can reach 35 miles per hour, a significant advantage in the leopard’s hunting industry. Hunting for leopard pups begins at 3 to 4 months and becomes more refined with time.