The leopard is known for its ability in climbing, and it has been observed resting on tree branches during the day, dragging its kills up trees and hanging them there, and descending from trees headfirst. It is a powerful swimmer, although, not as strong as some other big cats, such as the tiger. The leopard is also very agile, and can run at over 58 kilometres per hour (36 mph), leap over 6 metres (20 ft) horizontally and jump up to 3 metres (9.8 ft) vertically. The leopard is primarily a nocturnal creature; however, there have been recorded instances of leopards hunting during the daytime, especially when the sky is overcast. It spends much of its day resting and sleeping, up in the branches of trees, underneath rocks, or in the grass.Leopards produce a number of vocalizations, including grunts, roars, growls, meows and "sawing" sounds
Reproduction and life cycle
Female leopard in the Sabi Sands area of South Africa. Note the white spot on its tail, used for communicating with cubs while hunting or in long grassA male may follow a female that catches his attention, although eventually a fight for reproductive rights may take place. Depending on the region, leopards may mate all year round or seasonally during January to February. The estrous cycle lasts about 46 days and the female usually is in heat for 6–7 days. Gestation lasts for 90-105 days. Cubs are usually born in a litter of 2–4, but infant mortality is high and usually no more than 1–2 cubs survive beyond their infancy.
The pregnant females find a cave, crevice among boulders, hollow tree, or thicket to give birth and make a den. Cubs open their eyes after a period of 10 days. The fur of the young tends to be longer and thicker than that of adults. Their pelage is also more gray in color with less defined spots. Around three months the infants begin to follow the mother out on hunts. At one year of age leopard young can probably fend for themselves but they remain with the mother for 18–24 months.