Masai Mara Leopard

Typically males can be distinguished from females by their size and more muscular shoulders.

Their coat is supreme camouflage, the larger the animal the less easier it becomes for it to imatate a specific background.Leopards are the strongest of the cats ‘pound for pound’ and their ability to drag prey of the same weight up trees. This is done so that the meat is not found by scavengers and vultures. Leopards are used to gorging and fasting and so like to store their food in these trees and it may get smelly.

The males are highly territorial and these territories may hold home ranges of a few females, and be very dense where conditions are ideal (such as along the Talek river). Sexes only associate to mate during the 7 day estrus period. The 1-2 cubs are born blind after a 3 month gestation, in small hollows and crevices. Leopard milk is not much richer than that of housecats and they start eating meat at 72 days and only stop taking milk after 100 days.

They are highly secretive, but able to eat more diverse foods than Lion and utilize more diverse habitats and so more often heard than seen (the call being like a continuous ‘sawing of wood’).

Famous leopards such as Bella (on the Talek River), Half tail and the ‘Windmill female’ in the northern parts of the reserve, towards the Musiara/windmill. Leopard gorge have been a little more habituated by film crews and so are sometimes easier to see than some of the others. Other good areas are around the Keekorok valleys, Sand River, Ol-Kinyei and conservation areas.

Longevity about 20 years.