Join our zoo community

Leopard Habitats and Husbandry

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by The Vegan, 7 Dec 2012.

  1. The Vegan

    The Vegan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Nov 2012
    Posts:
    91
    Location:
    Earth
    Hello everyone! I was wondering what everyone's opinions on Leopard habitats and husbandry are. Being shy, stealthy, crepuscular or nocturnal predators, they have a unique mix of behaviors. What is the best Leopard habitat/exhibit you know of? Where have you seen Leopards most active? How should Leopard's lives be enriched? How can Leopards be encouraged to be more active during visitor hours? In what social groupings should Leopards be housed in? Looking forward to your responses!
     
  2. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1 Mar 2011
    Posts:
    4,711
    Location:
    Melbourne, VIC, Australia
    General knowledge or a school/university/college project?
     
  3. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    6,381
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Compared to lions and tigers and cheetahs, for which there are a number of good exhibits across the country, leopards and snow leopards get shortchanged with subpar exhibits. Jaguars and pumas, from my experience, are somewhere between the two.

    I think this is mainly due to the incredible climbing ability of leopards and snow leopards and the virtual necessity of completing enclosing their exhibits. I have seen a few open top exhibits (example Out Of Africa in my state of Arizona), but these are very few indeed. Some US states actually mandate closed tops in their state laws. As a cat fanatic, I find this situation somewhat depressing and I wish zoos would do better for these fantastic felines.

    Since I assume your thread applies to common leopards (and not snow leopards), here are the very few good ones I know of:

    USA
    Out Of Africa
    The Living Desert
    Minnesota Zoo (maybe - not personally seen)
    Staten Island Zoo (maybe - currently under construction)
    Philadelphia Zoo

    FRANCE
    Le Parc Des Felins (4 distinct habitats - black leopard, amur leopard, sri lanka leopard, persian leopard)
     
  4. The Vegan

    The Vegan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Nov 2012
    Posts:
    91
    Location:
    Earth
    Thanks for your replies! I never knew that Out of Africa had an open-top leopard habitat. Of all Leopard habitats, 'Leopard Hieghts' at Yorkshire Wildlife Park is the grandest; although I've never seen it for myself. I found a great article on this habitat at:

    The Yorkshire Wildlife Park

    Oh, and yes, this is just a 'Spread the knowledge' effort to fuel my zoo design hobby!
     
  5. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    6,381
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Not sure what is so "ground breaking" (their own words) about a bunch of fake climbing structures. Honestly I do not get you Britons and your excitement over putting animals in man-made jungle gyms (a la Aspinall parks). I am also not sure that really is the biggest leopard enclosure in the world (Out Of Africa and Parc Felins have some pretty big ones), but as I am terrible about judging the size of things (square meters is meaningless to my mind), I cannot say for sure.