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The Leot (lee-ott) [parvum pardus] also known as the miniature panther.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Felidae

Genus: Pardus

Scientific Name: Parvum Pardus

Common Name: Leot

Other Names: Miniature Panther


Physical Appearance

The Leot is the smallest wildcat that is part of the big cat family. The Leot weighs on average, 8 to 15 pounds. In length the Leot is 50 to 75 centimeters with an added 30 to 40 centimeters in tail length. The Leot’s fur comes in black to dark brown, and there is the albino recessive gene that occurs in approximately 5% in all Leot’s, which results in a white Leot. The fur is longer and thicker then most big cats, so to keep it warm as it has proportionally less body fat compared to other big cats. The face of the Leot has a sloped profile with large brown or hazel eyes. The rounded ears and padded paws of the Leot are proportionally large to the body and skull of the Leot.

Behavior

The Leot is a solitary animal that will avoid contact with other medium to large animals. The territory of a single Leot male and female can range from 1 to 6 miles. The Leot will share its territory during the mating season however, the female will return to her territory shortly after mating. The reproduction cycle lasts 3 months and the female will raise her cub until it is mature at 1 year old. The Leot’s will only mate once the female’s cub has matured. As a carnivore, the Leot has a nondiscrimination taste for small rodents, insects, and will also scavenge.

Status

Since the Leot is a solitary animal and reproduces once a year, the distribution this animal is getting smaller. There are only 40 to 50 known Leot’s left in the wild. The destruction of their habitat, along with hunting them for their fur, has made the Leot a highly endangered animal.

Fasha Maher

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