This article addresses those individuals who want to known what do leopards eat. These wild cats have varied diet pattern. The smallest of the four big cats, leopards belong to the family of Felidae. Previously, these cats were in great numbers all throughout Asia, Africa, South Africa and Siberia; however, due to the habitat destruction and human extension, leopards were forced to leave their natural habitats. For the same reason, these animals are considered to be endangered.
What Do Leopards Eat | Leopards Diet
Because of their opportunistic nature, leopards tend to consume almost anything that comes in their way. They have a flexible diet pattern. These cats prey on medium-sized to the smaller ones. Leopards are very fond of eating dung beetles, weighing 900 kg (2,000 kg) and giant elands with the weight measuring at 200 kg (440 lb).
Leopards predominantly prey on ungulates including monkeys and primates. Unlike other cats, leopards are skilled enough to climb on the trees while balancing itself with a long (almost half the body size) tail. These wild animals largely prey on reptiles, rodents, insects, birds, amphibians, and fish. Other prey includes foxes, jackals, and martens.
Though on rare occasion, leopards are also known to kill Nile crocodiles. These cats are capable to kill chimpanzees and gorillas although these kills are mostly avoided since they’re potentially stronger as compared to other targets. Leopards pursue their prey on a silent note by rushing towards it in a last minute. They are known as surprise hunters.
The leopards living in Africa have a wide variety of diet plan in that it ranges from Thomson’s gazelle to impala. Leopards do most of their hunting at dawn or at dusk. However, in Kruger National Park, these animals are found to be more energetic at night. At least 92 species have been documented in their diet. They largely prefer to take on medium-sized ungulates with the weight measuring at 20 to 80 kg (44 to 180 lb).
More than 60% of their prey is comprised of impala, the widely spread antelope weighing at 40 to 60 kg (88 to 130 lb). On an average, male leopards tend to consume 3.5 kg (7.7 lb) while females utilize 2.8 kg (6.2 lb).
Leopards prey on muntjacs, chitals, and deer in the Southern India. In order to minimize the probability of causing injury, these cats focus on impala, chital, common duiker, and bushbuck. These animals weigh around 10 – 40 kg (22 – 88 lb). When they feel that their food can be snatched away by predators, leopards take their kill and climb up the tree.