What is the life cycle of a leopard?


Quick Answer

Leopards begin life after a 90 to 105 day gestation period, then nurse from their mothers for up to three months. They reach sexual maturity at 2.5 years and have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years when in the wild.

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Full Answer

Leopard litters typically contain an average of three cubs, though they can birth between two and six babies. Cubs weigh a couple of pounds each when first born, and they are born blind. Their eyes open between four and nine days after birth. Cubs spend the first six to eight weeks hidden from danger until they are able to safely join their mother. Some leopards reach sexual maturity as early as two years old, which is roughly the time they leave their mothers. At that time, the mother is ready to mate and have another litter. Males leave their mother's territory completely, while females tend to stay closer to home. Sometimes, female leopards control territory nearby or overlapping with their mother's.

There is no singular leopard mating season, and female leopards are able to mate for a span of six to seven days every couple of months when not in gestation or tending a previous litter. Male leopards are usually solitary except when breeding.

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