Leopard Cubs

leopard cub
Photo by Mister-E

Here are some facts about leopard cubs. A cub will normally be born as part of a litter of 2-4 but only half will usually survive into adulthood. A cub is born with eyes closed. The eyes open at about 10 days of age. A cub’s fur is grayer, longer, thicker and less well defined than when adult. The picture above shows this. They are able to accompany mother on hunts at about 3 months of age. At one year old they can fend for themselves and they leave “home” at about 18-24 months.

A leopard cub’s life is very fragile as this rescue video shows. The cub found its way into a village in Kashmir. Perhaps it came down from the snow covered hills for food. Perhaps its mother had died. Note how the people are both fascinated and initially frightened (prodding the poor thing with a stick!)

This occurred in the Jammu and Kashmir on March 6th 2008. The people of this village rescued a leopard cub from the vicinity of Bhadarwah village in India’s northern Jammu and Kashmir state. Officials said that the cub could have strayed after heavy snowfall as the Himalayan state had heavy snowfall in 2008 making survival harder.

In the next video we have the pure charm of big cat cubs including a leopard cub playing with a lion cub:

The experts are not, it seems, certain as to the number of leopard subspecies. But this would appear to be the current list (10):

  1. North Chinese leopard (P. pardus japonensis) – China.
  2. Sri Lankan leopard (P. pardus kotiya) – Sri Lanka.
  3. Indo-Chinese leopard (P. pardus delacouri) – Mainland Southeast Asia.
  4. Zanzibar leopard (Panthera pardus adersi) endemic to Unguja Island in the Zanzibar archipelago.
  5. Indian leopard (P. pardus fusca) – India, southeast Nepal, and northern Bangladesh.
  6. Persian leopard or Iranian leopard (P. pardus saxicolor) – Southwest Asia.
  7. Arabian leopard (P. pardus nimr) – Arabian Peninsula.
  8. Javan leopard (P. pardus melas) – Java.
  9. Amur leopard (P. pardus orientalis) – the Russian Far East, north China and Korea.
  10. African leopard (P. pardus pardus) – Africa.

The leopard is classified as near threatened (NR) by IUCN Red List (see IUCN Red List for cats). This fragile situation is due to habitat loss, fragmented habitat (in India, Indochina, Pakistan, Malaysia, and China) and poaching (driven by traffic in body parts). The leopard now mainly lives in sub-Saharan Africa.

Caring for cubs in captivity is obviously skilled work. Here is a summary of what was successfully carried out in relation to two snow leopard cubs in China:

  • food for first 3 months: 4 times a day with 2 staples and 2 supplements alternatively of meat and milk.
  • after 3 months: 2 times daily, eggs, meat and food additives.
  • cages kept clean and dry
  • feeding bowls disinfected.
  • cubs kept clean.
  • sunshine supplement: natural and irradiated with UV light for 2-5 mins, 2 times per week.
  • the natural environment was replicated as best as possible.

(src: XXX link broken and removed.)

If, rarely, a leopard becomes a man eater it is essentially our fault.

From Leopard cubs to Wild Cat Species

Wild cat species – Photo published under creative commons Attribution License.

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