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Sampson - African Leopard
By: Jason Abels – Assistant Director www.tigerhomes.org Animal Sanctuary

New! See Sampson the African Leopard LIVE ON CAM!

We are happy to introduce Sampson, the Sanctuary’s resident Leopard. Sampson is considered an African Leopard (Panthera pardus) as is obviously indigenous to the continent of Africa. The leopard is truly a remarkable animal, capable of adapting to almost any habitat that provides it with sufficient prey and shelter. In fact, one species of leopard, the Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia), inhabits the cold mountainous areas of Tibet and Afghanistan. This is by far one of the most beautiful of all the leopards!
African Leopard Leopards like Sampson are indigenous to the continent of Africa Sampson - African Leopard the "One Man Cat"

Sampson is a typical leopard in the fact that he is a “One Man” cat. He has a super sweet disposition as far as leopards go, but he only responds well to Dave. This is pretty much standard behavior with leopards. Jaguars and many of the smaller species of cat often exhibit this “One Man” working relationship. Spock, one of the Sanctuary’s Caracals who we will discuss separately in the “Meet The Rest Of The Family” section, also is a “One Man” cat, only working with me. In all fairness, Sampson and I only interact when I am giving him a shot or assisting in a habitat transfer, so who could blame him right ;-)!

Sampson is about 6 years old and weighs about 120 pounds. We usually like to feed Sampson 5 – 10 pounds of food per feeding. In the wild Sampson, like many other predators would gorge feed. Basically, once making a kill, he would devour as much food as he possibly could due to the fact that he could lose his current meal to another predator or may not make another kill anytime soon. A very interesting bit of trivia concerning leopards, is the fact that they are the primary animal other than man to kill for sport! It is not uncommon to see an Acacia tree in Africa with over 10 antelope carcasses hanging by their horns high up in the canopy of the tree. Even though it has more than enough food stashed and in its belly, he can’t resist the urge to pounce on vulnerable prey. Due to the fact that a feeding behavior of leopards is to carry its killed prey high up into a tree, the leopard must be very strong. Leopards have been known to carry their body weight 30 feet straight up the trunk of a tree by their mouth. Just to put that into perspective, imagine Mike Tyson carrying another Tyson up a tree holding on only with his teeth.

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