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Sri Lankan Leopard

Place to admire: Animal Plaza

Scientific name: Panthera pardus kotiya

IUCN-status: Endangered


The Sri Lankan Leopard is found in the tropical forests of Sri Lanka.


The Sri Lankan Leopard primarily hunts monkeys, birds, deer, as well as boars, buffalo, and reptiles. When it hunts, it first slowly stalks its prey. Then it jumps on it and often kills it with just 1 bite, because the Sri Lankan leopard has 32 teeth. 4 of these teeth look long and pointed, which are the 4 canines.

Natural behavior

It lives solitary and territorially. The Sri Lankan Leopard borders its territory with urine and feces. He also scratches trees with his front paws. By doing so, he smears his own scent, which is released by the scent glands under the front paws. The male often has a territory in which several females have a smaller area.

The Sri Lankan Leopard climbs very well. So good in fact, that it can drag its prey right into the tree. After hunting an antelope, for example, taking its prey into the tree is a tougher undertaking. Dragging the prey into the tree is less common for this panther species, as it has no real competitor in Sri Lanka.

Endangered species

Thanks to humans, many forests are disappearing on the island of Sri Lanka. Because Sri Lankan Leopard live in these tropical forests, they are now in danger of extinction. It is estimated that only 1,000 are left in the wild.

In Europe, zoos are working together to conserve endangered species, such as the Sri Lankan Leopard. Through special breeding programs, such as European Endangered Species Program (EEP), zoos are helping to conserve the Sri Lankan Leopard.

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