The leopard (Panthera pardus) is one of the five "big cats" in the genus Panthera. It is a member of the Felidae family with a wide range in regions of sub-Saharan Africa, West Asia, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia to Siberia. Fossil records found in Italy suggest that in the Pleistocene it ranged as far as Europe.
Leopards are agile and stealthy predators. Although they are smaller than most other members of the Panthera genus, they are able to take large prey due to their massive skulls that facilitate powerful jaw muscles. Head and body length is usually between 90 to 165 cm (35 to 65 in). The tail reaches 60 to 110 cm (24 to 43 in) long, around the same length as the tiger's tail and proportionately long for the genus (though snow leopards and the much smaller marbled cats have relatively longer tails). Shoulder height is from 45 to 80 cm (18 to 31 in). The muscles attached to the scapula are exceptionally strong, which enhance their ability to climb trees. They are very diverse in size. Males are about 30% larger than females, weighing 30 to 91 kg (66 to 201 lb) compared to 23 to 60 kg (51 to 132 lb) for females. Large males of up to 91 kg (201 lb) have been documented in Kruger National Park in South Africa; however, males in South Africa's coastal mountains average 31 kg (68 lb) and the females from the desert-edge in Somalia average 23 to 27 kg (51 to 60 lb). This wide variation in size is thought to result from the quality and availability of prey found in each habitat.