Leopards protect themselves from other predators by hunting during different times of day than other predators, frequenting other areas, going after different prey and hiding in trees. Female leopards protect their cubs by moving them to safe locations frequently until they are old enough to fend for themselves.
Leopards often share habitats with other predators, such as lions, tigers, hyenas, bears and wild dogs. When larger predators are prevalent, leopards tend to go after smaller prey and change hunting habits to avoid them. They not only hide in trees but also flee into trees to avoid predation, drag the carcasses of their kills into trees to protect them from scavengers and stash their young in trees to keep them safe. To catch prey or avoid predators, they can run up to 36 mph, bound 20 feet forward or leap 10 feet straight up into the air.
Female leopards attempt to hide their newborn cubs from predators by giving birth in hollow trees, caves, thickets or crevices. Once the cubs are 3 months old, they tag along on hunts as they are safer with the mother than by themselves. The mother and cubs remain together for up to two years before the young leopards strike out on their own. Leopards typically live 12 to 17 years in the wild, but in zoos, they live up to 24 years.