The Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) - Wildlifeclick

The Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca)

The photo clicked from the Jhalana Leopard Safari Park, Jaipur, India. That was our 2nd-day morning safari. There is only our car going to a root all of our members in safari focused on an Indian Roller bird suddenly our guide Mr. Rishi saw a leopard walking on the track just in front of our safari car. Our driver Mr. V.P Saini very experienced, slow the jeep and follow the leopard. Around 100 meters. the thirsty leopard walked and finally reach the water reservoir and started to drink water all of our members are clicks and clicks that time the shutter of the camera plays a beautiful sound.

The Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) is a leopard subspecies widely distributed on the Indian subcontinent. The species Panthera pardus is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because populations have declined following habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching for the illegal trade of skins and body parts, and persecution due to conflict situations.

The Indian leopard is one of the big cats occurring on the Indian subcontinent, apart from the Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, snow leopard, and clouded leopard.

In 2014, a national census of leopards around tiger habitats was carried out in India except for the northeast. 7,910 individuals were estimated in surveyed areas and a national total of 12,000-14,000 speculated.

The Indian leopard has strong legs and a long well-formed tail, broad muzzle, short ears and small, yellowish-grey eyes, light grey ocular bulbs. Its coat is spotted and rosetted on a pale yellow to the yellowish-brown or golden background, except for the melanistic forms; the spots fade toward the white underbelly and the insides and lower parts of the legs. Rosettes are most prominent on the back, flanks, and hindquarters. The pattern of the rosettes is unique to each individual. Juveniles have woolly fur, and appear dark due to the densely arranged spots. The white-tipped tail is 60–100 cm (24–39 in) long, white underneath, and displays rosettes, which form incomplete bands toward the end. The rosettes are larger in other leopard subspecies in Asia. Fur colour tends to be more soft and cream in arid habitats, grayer in colder climates, and of a darker golden hue in rainforest habitats.

Leopard facts

1. Most leopards are light coloured and have dark spots on their fur. These spots are called “rosettes” because their shape is similar to that of a rose. There are also black leopards, too, whose spots are hard to see because their fur is so dark.

2. Leopards can be found in various places around the world – they live in Sub-Saharan Africa, northeast Africa, Central Asia, India and China.

3. Leopards are fast felines and can run at up to 58km/h! They’re super springy, too, and can leap 6m forward through the air – that’s the length of three adults lying head to toe!

4. Leopards are very solitary and spend most of their time alone. They each have their territory, and leave scratches on trees, urine scent marks, and poop to warn other leopards to stay away! Males and females will cross territories, but only to mate.

5. These big cats have a varied diet and enjoy different kinds of grub. They eat bugs, fish, antelope, monkeys, rodents, deer…in fact, pretty much any prey that is available!

6. Leopards are skilled climbers, and like to rest in the branches of trees during the day. They are strong beasts, too, and can carry their heavy prey up into the trees so that pesky scavengers, such as hyenas, don’t steal their meal!

7. Nocturnal animals, leopards are active at night when they venture out in search of food. They mostly spend their days resting, camouflaged in the trees or hiding in caves.

8. When it comes to hunting for food, these big cats know their stuff! When a leopard spots a potential meal, it approaches with legs bent and heads low, so as not to be seen. It then stalks its prey carefully and quietly, until it’s five to ten meters within range. Then…. pounce! The leopard dashes forward and takes down its victim with a bite to the throat or neck. Small prey, such as small birds or mice, will receive a fatal blow from the feline’s paw. Ouch!

9. Female leopards give birth any time of the year – when they do, they usually give birth to two or three cubs. Mothers stay with their cubs until they are about two years old, when they are old enough to hunt and take care of themselves.

10. Leopards communicate with each other through distinctive calls. For instance, when a male wants to make another leopard aware of his presence, he will make a hoarse, raspy cough. They also growl when angry and, like domestic cats, purr when happy and relaxed.

About Jhalana Leopard Safari

Spread in an area of 23sq km Jhalana Leopard Safari Park is home to 30-35 leopards out of which 6-7 leopards have their territory in the tourism area of the park. Situated right in the heart of Jaipur city closer to Airport, Jhalana slowly is becoming a favorite destination to spot leopards in wild. This otherwise shy cat is the apex predator here and does not have much competition for survival which makes them confident and therefore better sightings.

Once a reserve forest around Jaipur, Jhalana has always been home to leopards and other smaller fauna including spotted deer, blue bulls, wild boars and loads of residents as well as migratory birds. Safari at Jhalana has been operational since December 2016 and as of now, two safari routes are open for visitors.

India’s great geographical diversity makes it virtual heaven for wildlife and adventure. You can see a large variety of flora and fauna across its plains, deserts, mountains, rivers, valleys, tropical rainforests, coastal mangroves, Himalayan foothills and the snow-clad regions of the Upper North.  

Moreover, Jaipur is not left behind for its wildlife. Jhalana area in Jaipur is famous for its leopards. Jhalana Leopard Safari has grown into a recognized non-profit wildlife park dedicated to conservation, education, and animals in wide-open spaces. Jhalana Leopard Safari features over 500 animals representing their wild counterparts, making us a true intersection of human and nature nestled into the picturesque hills of Aravalli. It has leopards, jackals, nilgai, hyena, jungle cat, peacock, etc. With over 400 acres of space for some of the rarest, most endangered and simply coolest species on earth to roam, Jhalana Leopard Safari is truly an experience beyond a zoo.

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