Do you want to learn about Leopards in South Africa?
Read on to learn some facts about Leopards and conservation in South Africa.
1 The leopard is elegant with a long tail, tiny legs, and an elongated body. The leopard is the second-largest African cat after the lion, with an average body mass of 60kg and 70kg and a height at the shoulder of about two-thirds of a meter.
2 Leopard is territorial and is found mainly in the dense sub-tropical bush but can also live in semi-arid environments. Their territories can also vary from 10 square kilometres to several hundred square kilometres.
3 When mating, male and female leopards are only together briefly before they separate. After then, the female will rear the cubs by herself. Leopards may go for extended periods without drinking since their prey provides all their moisture requirements.
4 The leopard stalks or ambushes its prey to catch it. It attempts to approach its aim as closely as feasible in either situation. After that, it accelerates quickly (up to 60 km/h), pounces on its target, and bites it in the neck to finish it off. Leopards cannot pursue their prey over great distances and will give up if the initial element of surprise is gone and the intended target escapes.
5 Leopards can lift animals that are heavier than they are, and they frequently drag their prey into the fork of a tree that is several meters above the ground. This "lardering" in the tree shields the body from scavengers and permits a few days of uninterrupted feasting. Leopards consume a wide range of foods, including wildebeest and fish, but most of their diet consists of various types of buck, also known as antelope.
Leopards Are a Threatened Species in South Africa
Leopards in South Africa and Southern Africa are threatened due to several human-animal conflict scenarios and human greed.
Leopards are listed as Vulnerable on South Africa's National List of Threatened or Protected Species (2007), and they are listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which prohibits commercial trade and places quotas on the export and import of skins and hunting trophies.
Profit-seeking capitalists destroy many Leopards through cowardly and illegal practices such as canned hunting. Canned hunting is the leading cause of the declining numbers of African predators, including the Leopard, Lion, and Cheetah.
Farmers kill Leopards in their natural territory when Leopards hunt their livestock investments. These Leopard killings are "facilitated" by corrupt, greedy local government officials who provide 'underhanded' licenses to the farmers to kill Leopards.
It is illegal to kill or hunt species of wild animals in South Africa without local licensing. In South Africa, only people with a destruction permit or a CITES tag issued by the local conservation authority have legal permission to kill leopards.
Unfortunately, the South African government's incompetence, corruption, and complicit attitude allow the hunters and farmers to break local conservation laws to the detriment of the Leopards.
But the ordinary citizen, along with private reserve owners and NGOs, are fighting to save the threatened predators of Southern Africa from those who seek to harm and destroy nature through nefarious ways.
Leopard Rehabilitation in South Africa
Crowpix Conservation Photography was part of the Tumbeta Private Nature Reserve South Africa team to photograph the placement of a tracking device on a small female Leopard rescued in a local abandoned mine.