A Crouching, Moving Leopard

The Indian leopard has strong legs and a long well-formed tail, a broad muzzle, short ears, and small, yellowish-grey eyes, light grey ocular bulbs. Its coat is spotted and rosetted on a pale yellow to the yellowish-brown or golden background. Leopards are elusive, and solitary animals. They are active mainly from dusk till dawn but in some regions, they are nocturnal. 

 Here is a leopard on the move, crouching low to the ground as if stalking something in Gir National Park.

Leopard Crouching

Leopard in Stride

The Lion is probably the biggest enemy of the Leopard and a fight to the death will ensue when they come into contact. Hyenas and Baboons have also been known to attack and kill Leopards, in particular the young cubs. Leopards climb trees to survey the surrounding area for food, stay cool in the shade, store their prey and, most importantly, escape potential danger.

A leopard in full stride at Gir National Park, Gujarat, India.

Leopard in Stride

Spots of a Leopard

One can identify most leopards by their light color and distinctive dark spots. Those spots are called rosettes, because they resemble the shape of a rose. The coloration on leopards and many other animals has evolved because it helps them survive better. In the case of leopards, the alternating dark and light blends into the shadows and sunlight patches in the grasslands or forest where they live and makes it easier for them to sneak up on the the animals they hunt.

A young leopard strolls through Gir National Park …

Leopard Spots

Leopard Walk

Indian Leopard or Leopards are elusive and one of the most beautiful and most loved Big Cat among all the Big Cat Species. The feline is ‘smaller’ as compared to the other member of the big cat family. Indian Leopard can adapt itself to varying environments with ease and because of this, is the most successful in an era of habitat destruction, poaching and progressively increasing invasive human settlements!

Here is a young leopard walking in Gir National Park.

Leopard Walk

Leopards in Gir

Apart from the Asiatic lion, Gir National Park also has a sizeable number of another elusive cat—the Indian leopard. Gujarat is the only state in India where lions and leopards have coexisted. According to the last census of leopards carried out in 2016, their population was 1,395 across Gujarat of which about 450 were in Junagadh and Gir-Somnath. 

Leopard’s Majesty
Leopard with Purposeful Stride