Leopards may be slower than cheetahs and weaker than lions, but they are more successful than either of them, or any other big cat. Their populations inhabit territories that cover nearly half the world, and while nobody knows exactly how many leopards there are, it is estimated that there are roughly ten times more of them than all the lions, tigers, and cheetahs added together. Their success relies on cunning and stealth, and on their unique ability to adapt. As survivors, predators, teachers and parents, they are very clever cats.
Their numbers are surprising to most of us because, unlike bears or wolves, they are one of only a few large predators able to live so close to us while remaining so unnoticed. Yet they are all around us, living in the shadows, not only among the villages of Africa, but also on the outskirts of large cities like Beijing, Jakarta and Mumbai, and in the rice paddies and farms of Southeast Asia.
Leopards like their lives to be private, and until recently, relatively little has been known about them. But one remarkable cat developed a tolerance to being filmed and one day began to allow the cameras to follow her to her den. Following the story of this mother leopard and her two cubs, as well as observing other leopards around the world, the incredibly private and vulnerable lives of these extraordinary cats are revealed.
Tonight at 7pm on KCPT
Learn more about Leopards: Visit the Nature web site.