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Indian Leopard Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

In this lesson, you'll learn interesting facts about Indian leopards. Read on to find out where they live, what they eat, why they're endangered, and how people are trying to help them.

Man-Eaters

Imagine that you're in India and it's the middle of the night. All of a sudden, a huge Indian leopard jumps out of the forest, snatches a person and drags them away. Sounds like a movie, but it happens often! Hundreds of people are killed each year by Indian leopards. Let's learn more about this big, man-eating cat.

Spots Are Like Fingerprints

The Indian leopard is one of five big cats that make their home in India, which is a country in Asia. The others are the Asiatic lion, Bengal tiger, snow leopard and clouded leopard.

Like all leopards, the Indian leopard is covered with dark spots, which are called rosettes because they look like flowers. Believe it or not, these rosettes are like fingerprints; each Indian leopard has a unique pattern of rosettes. The patterns are so unique that scientists can use them to identify individual leopards. The rosettes on the Indian leopard are larger than those on other leopards.

Indian Leopard
leopard

The fur of Indian leopards varies from yellowish-brown to reddish-brown, and even grayish-brown, depending on where they live. They have rather small ears and yellowish-gray eyes. Male Indian leopards are larger than females, often a little over four feet in length. They have very long tails, which can be up to three feet long! The males weigh between 110 and 170 pounds.

Indian Leopard Habits

Indian leopards are solitary predators; this means that each leopard hunts for its food by itself. They usually stay hidden at night, hiding in the branches of large trees. They're good climbers and use trees for shelter. Since there are often other large cats living nearby, an Indian leopard will drag its prey up into a tree to eat it. And because they also rely on trees for shelter, they're often found in forest habitats.

While the Indian leopard is very strong, it's not as fast as some other big cats. They have very strong and powerful jaws to help them catch and eat their prey. They usually feed on deer, wild pigs, cattle, rabbits, dogs, and porcupines, but will eat other animals that are easy to catch.

Indian Leopard Population

Until recently, we weren't sure how many Indian leopards were living. They're difficult to find and count because they often stay hidden. A few years ago, the Indian government estimated that there are over 12,000 Indian leopards.

Indian Leopard
leopard2

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