What Are Some Facts About the Amur Leopard?

amur-leopard Credit: stanzi11/iStock/Getty Images

The Amur leopard, or Panthera pardus orientalis, lives in the far eastern part of Russia. Other names for the solitary animal include the Far East leopard, Manchurian leopard and Korean leopard. These large cats live between 10 and 15 years in the wild or 20 years in captivity. Only 35 wild specimens exist as of August 2014.

Amur leopards have dark, ringed spots widely spaced on their bodies. These wildcats have paler coats than other species of leopards. The thick coats of Amur leopards are adapted for cold climates, as their hair grows up to 2.75 inches long.

Fully-grown males weigh between 70 and 105 pounds, whereas females weigh between 55 and 95 pounds. Amur leopards grow to 5 feet in length. An average litter size is two to three cubs.

Amur leopards are agile hunters that stalk their prey until it is just a few yards away before striking. The predators eat hares, roe deer and sika deer. After the kill, Amur leopards hide the carcass so that other carnivores do not take the meat.

Amur leopards are one of 10 subspecies of true leopards. Their range is restricted to a small strip of land along the China-Russia border. The big cat once roamed across the Korean Peninsula and northeastern China. Loss of habitat and human hunting for the Amur leopard's exotic fur contribute to the rare cat's extremely low numbers.