Leopard - Panthera pardus

Found throughout most of Africa and Asia, the leopard inhabits a variety of regions, such as tropical forests, brush and scrublands, rocky hillsides or the high, cold slopes of the Himalayas. Powerful and agile, the leopard is a deadly and efficient hunter. It stalks its prey, creeps to within a few metres, then leaps or dashes at the victim, which is dispatched by a bite in the neck or smothered by a throat bite. In Botswana the leopard can be seen in any wilderness area, usually early morning or late evening (night time where permissible to drive at night). Khwai, Mombo and Xaxanaka in Moremi, Savuti and Serondela in Chobe and Nxai Pan. Their most common prey are hoofed animals, but they will eat dogs and monkeys as well. The well-known "black panther," once thought to be a different species, is actually just a dark leopard.