The leopard /ˈlɛpərd/ (Panthera pardus) is one of the five "big cats" in the genus Panthera. It is a member of the Felidae family with a wide range in regions of sub-Saharan Africa, West Asia, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia to Siberia.Fossil records found in Italy suggest that in the Pleistocene it ranged as far as Europe.
Compared to other members of Felidae, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar , but is smaller and more lightly built. Its fur is marked with rosettes similar to those of the jaguar, but the leopard's rosettes are smaller and more densely packed, and do not usually have central spots as the jaguars do. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers.
The leopard's success in the wild is due to its well camouflaged fur, its opportunistic hunting behavior, broad diet and strength to move heavy carcass into trees, its ability to adapt to various habitats ranging from rainforest, steppe to arid and montane areas and to run at speeds up to 58 kilometres per hour (36 mph).
It is no longer endangered and there is a healthy population, especially in the large Africa Park. They are also raised at New Africa planet and sold as exotic pets. ( Pet permit required)