Leopard

The Sri Lanka leopard is one of the eight known subspecies of leopard. Its coat is tawny or rusty yellow, stamped with dark spots and rosettes. It is known as probably the largest of all subspecies of leopards.Seven females that were weighed averaged 29 kg; males averaged 56 kg, with the largest being 77 kg.

A recent study in Yala National Park (The Leopard Project) indicates that Sri Lankan leopards are not any more social, nor less nocturnal, than other populations. They are solitary hunters, with the exception of females with young. Both sexes live in overlapping territories with the ranges of males overlapping the smaller ranges of several females, as well as overlapping the ranges of neighbouring males.

The breeding season is throughout the year with a non-significant peak in the dry season. A litter usually consists of 2 cubs. Unlike some other leopards, Sri Lanka leopards appear to rarely cache kills in trees. This is consistent with other populations where the leopard is the apex predator as there is no requirement for them to store their prey in places which are inaccessible to other predators.

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