Leopard-900x600-by-Patrick Meier
Scientific Name

Panthera pardus


Male: 50 - 90 kg (Adult)
Female: 35 - 40 kg (Adult)


10 - 15 years (in the wild)


jungles, grasslands, savannas, mountains and even urban areas



So leopards say hello with their teeth. So what?

Leopards are big cats closely related to lions, tigers, and jaguars.[1] They live in parts of Africa and Asia.


African leopards exhibit great variation in coat color, depending on their location and habitat. Coat color varies from pale yellow to deep gold or tawny, and the pelt itself is patterned with black rosettes while the head, lower limbs, and belly are spotted with solid black. Male leopards are larger, averaging 60 kilograms (132 pounds) with 91 kilograms (200 pounds) being the maximum weight attained by a male. Females weigh about 35 to 40 kilograms (75 to 90 pounds) on average.

Between 1996 and 2000, 11 adult leopards were radio-collared on Namibian farmlands. Males weighed 37.5 to 52.3 kilograms only, and females 24.0 to 33.5 kilograms.[2]


In Real Life

African Leopard

An adult leopard

Any leopard that appears in The Lion King universe is actually an African leopard.

African leopards used to occur in most of the sub-Saharan Africa, occupying both rainforest and arid desert habitats. They were found in all habitats with annual rainfall above 50 mm (2.0 in), and can penetrate areas with less than this amount of rainfall along river courses. They range exceptionally up to 5,700 m (18,700 ft), have been sighted on high slopes of the Ruwenzori and Virunga volcanoes, and observed when drinking thermal water 37°C (99°F) in the Virunga National Park.[3]

In the Universe

The Lion King

In the "Nants Ingonyama" chant heard in the song, "Circle of Life", one line says, "Ingonyama nengw' enamabala," which translates into English meaning, "A lion and a leopard come to this open place." During Zazu's morning report to Mufasa, he mentions that "the leopards are in a bit of a spot". A leopard appears in the "Circle of Life" sequence attending Simba's Presentation.

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride

In the song, "He Lives in You", the same line, "Ingonyama nengw' enamabala," is heard, but no leopards are seen with the other animals arriving at Kiara's presentation at Pride Rock.

The Lion King: Six New Adventures

A Tale of Two Brothers

The leopards can be seen complaining to Ahadi about the drought, blaming the buffalo for hogging the last source of water in the Pride Lands. Mufasa later approaches a leopard who is pacing feverishly, presumably to calm him down.

Follow the Leader

A young baboon named Mosi is briefly abducted by a leopard, but the fearsome predator is soon warded off by Simba, the protector of the troop.

The Hakuna Matata Magazine Series

Monkey Mountain

One leopard is featured in the book, Monkey Mountain, named One-Eye. In the story, Simba stumbles onto a monkey-shaped mountain, and is chased there a hyena named Shriek as well as an unnamed African Wild Dog and a vulture who work for One-Eye to try and kill and eat Simba. One-Eye's vision is bad due to a badly injured left eye, and relies on them for food, but they are oblivious to this fact, left to wonder why One-Eye puts up with them. Simba eventually escapes from the leopard's clutches, and Shriek is chased away.

The Lion Guard

The Imaginary Okapi

A leopard by the name of Makucha sneaks into the Pride Lands in pursuit of Ajabu the okapi, who had fled there to escape from him. It is stated that there had previously been no leopards in the Pride Lands. The Lion Guard eventually rescues Ajabu, while Makucha flees.

The Trouble With Galagos

A friendly but feeble leopard named Badili unintentionally scares a group of galagos from their tree. Once confronted by the Lion Guard, Badili explains that his territory is in the Mirihi Forest, located in The Back Lands. It is later revealed that a leopard named Mapigano is bullying Badili out of his territory. The Guard helps Badili gain confidence through training sessions. Badili is finally able to stand up to Mapigano, ultimately gaining back his territory. 



  1. [1]
  2. Marker L.L., Dickman A.J. (2005) Factors affecting leopard (Panthera pardus) spatial ecology, with particular reference to Namibian farmlands. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 35: 105-115.
  3. Nowell, K., Jackson, P. (1996) Leopard Panthera pardus In Wild Cats: status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.