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Leopards are widely-distributed wild cats that live in rain forests, woodlands, plains, deserts, and shrubby areas. They are found in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, parts of China, India, Siberia, and Southeast Asia. Leopards are a threatened species due to loss of habitat, loss of prey, and over-hunting.
Leopards are fast runners, good swimmers and excellent tree climbers. They often hide their food in trees. The leopard's call sounds like a raspy cough, not a roar. Leopards live up to 21 years in captivity.
Anatomy: These graceful, medium-sized cats grow to be about 3.5-5.5 feet (1-1.7 m) long; the tail is 2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 m) long. Adults weigh from 65 to 175 pounds (30-80 kg). Males are larger than females.
Some leopards have dark rosettes on a black background, making them appear black; these leopards are called black panthers. Cubs are gray when they are born.
Diet: These large cats are carnivores (meat-eaters). They hunt a wide range of mammals, reptiles, birds, crabs, and fish. They hunt mostly at night; they are nocturnal.
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