Distribution: Shortridge’s Leopard – Angola in the west to Mozambique in the east, northwards into Southern D.R.C., and southwards into South Africa except the far south.
Size: SH: 80cm. W: 75kg
Description: The subspecie status of the Leopard is a matter of great debate. There are those who state that all Leopard in Africa are monotypic. In total there have been fifty one “scientific” descriptions of the Leopard.
Recent DNA analyses do indicate that they are all very closely related. However given the vast area of distribution, there can be no doubt that the genetic interactions are likely to have progressed on a divergent path.
Several are long extinct and are ignored. However, twelve extant or recently extinct are still recognized:
Barbary Leopard, Cape Leopard, Congo Leopard, East African Leopard, Erythrean Leopard, Senegalese Leopard, Shortridge’s Leopard, Somali Leopard, Sudan Leopard, Ugandan Leopard, West African Leopard and Zanzibar Leopard.
The difference between the various subspecies are mostly size related and some difference in colouring.
Shortridge’s Leopard – Short and sturdy, heavyset, powerful cat. Numerous, black and brown rosettes on the back and upper limbs but single, solid spots on the face, lower limbs and underside.
Sex Determination: Mature males are heavier than the females, their heads are a lot bigger and in most cases the genitalia are visible and protrudes under the tails of the mails.
Trophy Assessment: Big rounded head, a dewlap under the throat, thick tail base, small ears in relation to the head and heavy forearms are all signs to look for.
Shot Placement: When broadside the best shot is on the shoulder (even though the heart sits behind the shoulder) it is better to break both front shoulder bones and hit the lungs, Frontal sitting shot is most of the time a risky shot for the novice hunter
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