Facts about Black Panther

The black panther is a type of leopard. It belongs to the family Felidae, and is classified as Panthera pardus. Black panthers are found in Africa, Asia Minor, Middle East India, Pakistan, China, Siberia, and Southeast Asia. The male panther is called a panther, a female panther is called a panthress, and an immature panther is called a cub.

The physical characteristics of the Black Panther vary. They are covered with black fur, with some darker areas that you can only see in certain lighting. The color of the panther depends on its location. The black panther has a long dark tail to go with its dark body. It has compact muscles and walks with a flowing movement in its limbs.

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The height of a male black panther is about nine feet, and a female is seven to eight feet tall. The male weight can weigh as little as 85 pounds and up to 198 pounds, but a female can weigh from 75 to 130 pounds. The life span of a black panther is about twenty-one years. It is considered a small cub for six months, and a large cub from six months to one and a half years. A cub remains with its mother until it is 18 to 24 months old and then it leaves to establish a territory of its own. A panther is considered a sub-adult from 1.5 to 3.5 years and a prime adult from 3.5 years to nine years. An old adult ranges in age from nine years up till around age twenty-one.

The black panther’s habitat is usually the jungle, where its black coat provides a great camouflage. The panther usually lives in or near a tree, and is a great tree climber. After the panther kills his prey, he takes it to the top of the tree to keep it away from other predators.

The black panther has a few enemies. The lions are not fond of them, and will kill them when they get the chance. Baboons also can attack and drive the panther away and kill it, and the hyenas also drive the panthers away, and kill them so they can have the dead prey for themselves. But the panther is a very good fighter.

During the day, the panther will rest, feed, hunt, walk, and court. During the night he will feed, hunt, court, and travel. The panthers are near the top of the food chain. Even though they lack the cheetah’s speed, they have their own gifts. The panther is very graceful, powerful and very aggressive. The panther has an incredible jumping ability. It can jump up to twenty feet and ten feet high without much difficulty. The panther stalks his prey and waits until it is near, and then attacks. Then he grabs his prey by the neck and suffocates it until it dies. The black panther is a carnivore and his diet consists of animals as small as mice, to predators twice his size. During the day the female that is raising the young will sometimes hunt.

Panthers don’t have a mating season but usually mate during January and February. The panther usually abandons his usual habitat to mate. During mating, the male grasps the female’s skin and holds it until mating process is complete. Then the female turns and swats the male away with her forepaw. After mating, the pair splits up and the female cares for the resulting cubs. One source says, “the average rate of producing cubs is 15%,” so a lot of females are unsuccessful in having cubs. The panther usually lives a solitary life, except for his cubs and mate. The panther is very defensive of his territory, but respects other panther territories. There is no hierarchy, and no king.

Is the black panther in danger of becoming extinct? The Black Panther is nowhere near being extinct. The Convention in the Trade of Endangered Species says “the African Leopard, by no means, is to be considered an endangered species, with a population of about 700,00 in Africa.” Also a research team of scientists stated that “ 322 leopards could be hunted annually as trophy animals in Namibia without decimating the population.” In the city of Acharya Mumbai, Kenya a city of 13 million people, on June 25, 1997, man-eating panthers were traveling through the suburbs near the Sanjay Gandi National Park, causing great fear among the people. Some foresters said, “the panthers are being blamed for murders committed by humans.”

Overall, the panther is an exquisite creature. With a powerful body and sleek skin, who can say that the panther looks like a wimpy animal? When I picked the black panther as my project, I did not know how much I would learn about the panther. I think the black panther is an interesting and exciting creature.


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