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Meet Enoch

Black Leopard

personal info

Enoch lives with another black leopard named Silhouette, a tiger named Vista, and a lioness named Kora. He is the most agile of the four, and he loves to demonstrate that agility on his keepers by jumping on their backs. It’s all fun and games for Enoch, although the keepers will tell you those claws don’t feel so good when they’re digging in. To the delight of his keepers, Enoch spends most of his playtime wrestling with Kora or amusing himself with his boomer ball. Even though Enoch is fed regularly three times a week, it seems he’s endlessly craving a chicken or meat snack.


Black panthers live chiefly in the hot, dense tropical rainforests of South and Southeast Asia. They are mainly in Southwestern China, Burma, Nepal, Southern India, Indonesia, and the southern part of Malaysia. Black leopards are more common than light-colored leopards. They are less common in tropical Africa but have been reported from Ethiopia, from the forests of Mount Kenya and from the Aberdares; however, their population in these areas is sparse. One of the reasons that black panthers are able to live in such a variety of habitats is that they can eat many types of animals. Their food includes various species of mammals, reptiles, and birds, all of which live in different habitats.


The typical head and body length of a leopard is between 37 and 65 inches, while the tail can be between 24 to 43 inches. The shoulder height is 18 to 31 inches. Males are about 30% larger than females, weighing 66 to 200 pounds compared to 51 to 130 pounds for females. Melanistic leopards (very dark brown) are commonly called black panthers. However, there is no such animal. The dark color, called melansim, is due to a recessive gene. Melanistic cubs can be born to spotted parents. Although melanistic, the black leopard has the same pattern of spots as any other leopard. There are no solid-black big cats. “Panthera” is a Latin word used to describe the genus and species of many large cats. For example, the scientific species name of a lion is Panthera leo, while that of a tiger is Panthera tigris.

Life cycle

Leopards may mate all year round. The estrous cycle lasts about 46 days and the female is in heat for 6 to 7 days. The gestation period is 3 to 3 ½ months. The number of cubs born can range from 1 to 6, but a typical liter is 2 to 3. The mortality of cubs is estimated at 40 to 50% during the first year. Cubs are born with closed eyes, which open 4 to 9 days after birth. At 1 year of age, leopard young can probably fend for themselves but remain with the mother for 18 to 24 months. Maturity is reached at 3 years. Leopards live 12 to 15 years in the wild and up to 23 years in captivity.


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