How big is the leopard?

Leopard in tree Africa
Photo: Mitchell Fitzsimmons. Click on image to see larger version.
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How big is the leopard? Answer: Leopards have a head and body length of 1 to 1.5 meters. Rarely the leopard achieves almost 2 meters in length ( a meter is 3 feet 3⅜ inches). The size of the leopard is probably overestimated sometimes.

A few leopards exceed an overall length (head, body and tail) of 2.4 meters. The tail is about 60-75% of the head and body length.

There is a wide variation is the size of the leopard across its huge distribution. Leopards in a more open landscape are generally larger than those living in forests.

Adult males are larger than females: 30-40% heavier. Some small leopards live in the mountainous areas of Cape Province in South Africa. In this area males weigh about 31 kilograms and females about 21 kilograms (1 kilogram is 2.2 pounds). Leopards in the Judean Desert in Israel are a similar weight (date: as at 2002).  There are still leopards in Israel, it appears.

In Kruger National Park, SA, two captured males weighted 70 kilograms (11 stones). The largest female captured weighed 43.2 kilograms (6 stones 11 pounds).

Records exist of African leopards weighing over 90 kilograms (over 14 stones) but a deduction needs to be made for stomach contents which can add 20% to the cat’s weight.

In Iran and Central Asia, male leopards can weigh 90 kilograms.

Some other examples of leopard size and weight:

Thailand – males – 40 to 70 kilograms – average length of head plus body: 1,273 millimetres (mm).

Russia – males – 32-48 kilograms – length of head plus body: 1070-1360 mm.

Sri Lanka – males – 56.3 kilograms – length head + body: 1,265 mm

Sri Lanka – females – 29 kilograms – length head + body: 1,047 mm

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