We know that most cats are prone to sleeping, but for the rare mountain leopard (Panthera pardus), this behavior isn’t a choice, it’s a survival strategy. Adult males can consume more than double their body weight in a week, meaning that they need to be able to rest and recuperate during the day.
In the wild, leopards are known to sleep in a variety of places, including trees and rocky ledges, depending on their habitat. Their spotted coats make them blend in with their surroundings, which is particularly helpful when hunting. But even when they’re snoozing, they keep their eyes open so that they can quickly react to any potential threats.
Leopards are carnivores, which means that they primarily eat meat. There are two types of carnivores: facultative, which also eat plants, and obligate, which eat only animal flesh. Leopards fall into the latter category, making them one of the most specialized hunters in the world.
Unlike many other large cats, leopards are incredibly adaptable, which allows them to survive in almost any habitat on the planet. They can be found in rainforests, savannas, grassland lands, mountains, and coastal scrublands, and can even live without water for days at a time.
They typically give birth to a litter of two or three cubs, and the mother will stay with them until they’re two years old. This level of attentiveness makes leopards the most closely bonded members of the large cat family. They may have the longest gestation period of any mammal, but their young are born blind and helpless, and must depend on their mothers for food and protection until they’re mature enough to hunt on their own.