Unicorn's Guide to the Galaxy - uh Sanctuary ^,^
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~ * ~ LEOPARDS ~ * ~
Ohhh, the Sanctuary's African leopards... Okay. ^,~
Kevin also rescued four black leopards from the same park. Lion cubs aren't the only young predators bred specifically for the profit of such facilities. Alongside lion cubs, one will often find leopard, tiger and cheetah cubs offered for petting and photos as well. (GSTK coloring pg3) Leopards in the wild are also poached and endangered by human encroachment shrinking their habitat.
"Black panthers" can refer to black leopards, black jaguars, and others. They are cats that are melanistic: That's when extra pigmentation is produced. As you'll be able to see in many of the photos and videos, they are not actually pure black. Their markings still show in different lighting. ~ [There are also rare leucistic leopards in the wild called "strawberry leopards", because they are reddish rather than black.]
Like captive lions, the Sanctuary leopards are not suitable for release into the wild because they are habituated to humans, which increases the chance of dangerous encounters and human-wildlife conflict, and there is nowhere wild to put them. Also, being black, they would quickly be sought after for trophy kills or by poachers - not being afraid of humans making them easy targets.
I had written before, "notice he doesn't take the leopards for walkies", because they're more independent and more likely to get poached if separated from Kevin out in the open. Yet, in the meantime, he has posted some video of taking Kahn out. ^_^ I just love when Kahn disappears into a burrow. ^o^ You just don't think of cats being underground, especially big cats, and it was pretty cool and so fun to see a leopard go in one hole and come out another. ^_^
There's a clip of it in the Why Leopards Are The Best video. There's another with more of him in there, but I couldn't find it again.
they make their own rules, too
- and insight about their coloring
Leopards are another big cat that share habitat with lions. Leopards as a whole are listed as vulnerable, but many of the subspecies are endangered or critically endangered. The biggest threat to them is humans. Loss of habitat is at the top of the list, but leopard are also killed for ego-boosts, trophies, their spotted fur and because farmers feel threatened simply by their presence - none of which are very good reasons.
Leopards, like lions and other predators, can peacefully coexist with humans with a little tolerance and understanding and steps to protect domestic livestock - like penning domestic animals in at night, or using specially trained guard dogs, and not pressuring predators into going after livestock for food by driving off their natural prey. Protecting natural habitat helps the humans as well as the animals.
You can learn more about the different species of leopards at the World Wildlife Day website.
Some may be curious of the difference between leopards and jaguars - or even wonder if they are different, so I'm including this page on here, too. ^_^ Jaguars are a lot like leopards: Both are smaller than lions but are more agile and pack a lot of power, being quite at home in the trees. However, they're separate species and inhabit different parts of the world. Jaguars inhabit the Americas, while leopards inhabit parts of Africa and Asia.
A couple of features I use to distinguish leopards from jaguars, besides location, are that jaguars are stockier and tend to have larger rosettes often with spots inside them. "Rosette" is what the circular patterns of their markings are called. ~ I wouldn't confuse a cheetah with a leopard, but if you're new to learning about spotted wild cats, leopard and cheetah are easy to distinguish. Cheetah spots don't form rosettes, and cheetah are also very slender with rounder heads and black "tear marks" down their faces.
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[I make the printable images to be around 8x11 inches to fill a sheet of regular letter-size paper when printed. Coloring pages may be printed from here and made copies of for non-profit, free-of-charge use only. Plant seeds! ^_^]