Panthers in the wild feed on small hoofed animals, such as deer, impala and gazelle. Some panthers also stalk and kill domestic animals, such as pigs and dogs, when human settlements are nearby. Panthers are strong swimmers and sometimes capture fish in the water. In captivity, they are generally fed cuts of raw meat, such as beef or pork.
Panthers are not an individual species of big cat. Rather, the terms "panther" and "black panther" are used to refer to leopards that are black in color, rather than tan with dark spots. Black leopards and spotted leopards belong to the same species but black leopards simply have larger amounts of melanin, the pigment that gives their coats color. Jaguars with black coats are also sometimes referred to as black panthers.
Leopards, or panthers, are found throughout southern Africa, central Asia, India and China. The average panther is between 4.25 and 6.25 feet long, not including the tail. Panthers sometimes carry their prey into trees after catching it. This allows them to feed without the worry of scavengers stealing their meals.
Leopards are solitary animals. They live alone, only spending time with other leopards when it is time to mate. Young leopards stay with their mother for about two years before going off on their own.