Celebrating International Leopard Day
Leopards are Magnificent. These fiercely powerful cats are self-reliant, opportunistic hunters, and often elusive. To see a leopard for the first time in the wild becomes a profound moment that penetrates into your soul while on a holiday safari in Africa.
Sadly, the population of leopards around the world is on a decline. Loss of habitat, human/wildlife conflict, poaching, and climate change are challenging the continued existence of leopards.
Every 3rd May of each year marks the annual celebration of International Leopard Day. It is a day that celebrates leopards and attempts to increase global awareness of what threatens wild populations.
Leopards are under huge threat where they now remain in the wild and there are multiple causes for the decline in their populations.
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Rampant bushmeat poaching depletes prey populations and poses a direct threat to leopards; they are often caught and killed in wire snares and traps set for other species.
As leopards lose their habitat to human development, they are increasingly killed in retaliation for the real and perceived threat they pose to livestock.
Unethical trophy hunting in East and Southern Africa also contributes to the decline in leopard populations.
Leopards are often killed illegally for their skins and other body parts, which are widely sought after across their range for outdated cultural beliefs.
Scientists do not know how many Leopards are left in the wild but what they do know is that their population is declining fast. Leopards will become extinct in the wild unless humanity takes responsibility and puts an end to killing these beautiful animals.
[PHOTOS] – Celebrating International Leopard Day