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Admired for its distinctive beautiful fur, the leopard is graceful, alert, and cunning, and is believed to be more intelligent than other big cats. The leopard is a master of camouflage. His spotted coat blends so much with his surroundings that even the trained eye of an experienced hunter will not easily detect the cat’s presence.

The leopard is the smallest species in the family of big cats, but relative to its size (leopards usually range from 100 to 160 pounds) its strength is extraordinary. A leopard can carry a carcass far heavier than itself high into a tree, where mightier animals such as a lion or tiger can not steal it.


Bold like a leopard: A well-known saying in the Mishnah goes like this: "Be bold as a leopard, light as an eagle, swift as a deer and mighty as a lion to do the will of your Father in Heaven" (Rabbi Judah ben Tema, Ethics of Fathers 5:20). This saying is also the opening quote of the Shulchan Aruch (The Jewish Code of Law).

The leopard often employs all sorts of clever tricks to get his prey, and is not intimidated by animals that outweigh him. A British hunter watched a leopard prepare for its stalk of a buffalo calf by first rolling in buffalo dung in order to disguise its body scent to get closer to the calf without frightening it.

Another hunter related how the spotted cat took a camel by arousing its curiosity. The cat rolled on the ground, twisting and turning until it got closer to the camel. When the camel lowered its head down to examine the strange animal the leopard seized it by its throat and killed it.

The leopard teaches us to be fearless and daring when it comes to fulfilling the will of our Creator. We should not be intimidated by what people will say when we do a mitzvah. When it comes to our personal lives, though, boldness and chutzpah is not a virtue, instead we should display humility and be willing to compromise.



Listen to the roar of a Leopard

Watch a video of Leopards


The spots on the leopard's hide begin as merged dots, separating and becoming distinct as it grows older.

The leopard's skin is remarkable: almost like human fingerprints, each rosetted hide differs in shape and size of the spots. No two leopards' coats are exactly alike.

Leopards are born blind and helpless weighing less than 2 pounds.

The leopard has been endowed with excellent attack weapons. It has extraordinary good hearing and eyesight. It can detect the slightest movement from half a mile away. Its feet are heavily cushioned, and the animal practically glides as it walks.

Lions and leopards were not uncommon in the Holy Land, but with the disappearance of forests they have disappeared from the Land of Israel.

Parent's Tip: Show your child that every leopard has a different spotted pattern. No two are the same. Ask them to tell you which features they have that make them unique, from color of eyes to fingerprints, from character traits to talents.


In Isaiah's vision regarding the age of Moshiach, in which he describes the peacefulness that will exist between the wild animals and their prey, he prophesizes that "the leopard shall lie down with the young goat," the goat being the usual prey of the leopard.

Leopards are the highest animal on the food chain. They eat grazing animals and ensure there are not too many of them. Without leopards, the eco-system would go out of control. Populations of grazing animals would grow and they would consume all the grass and plants.