During a routine trail camera check, employees of Land of the Leopard National Park found evidence that one male leopard has had "dates" with three different females. Lord, the famous leopard in "white gloves," turned out to be a heart stealer. He is the first leopard to be spotted with so many potential mates.
Lord took a fancy to Nerussa, Pamela and the unnamed leopardess Leo 113F. Over several months in 2017, camera traps captured Lord and one of the females; they followed in each other's footsteps at intervals of several seconds.
© Land of the Leopard press service
Lord the leopard (top photo) and the leopardess Leo 113F. Photos taken by the same camera trap
Experts say that adult leopards court for one reason: to reproduce. A courtship usually lasts about five days and is of a very practical nature. After this short period, predators lose interest in each other. If conception occurs, the female goes through a 90-day gestation period and gives birth to one to three cubs. The male is not involved in their upbringing.
"There is not much known about the social structure of the Far Eastern leopard population. We are receiving valuable data which will help us evaluate the success of such mating games, and their connection with the potential litters of these females. It is quite natural for one male to mate with several females in a short period of time. These animals are polygamous. A leopard can walk as far as he can and wants within his territory, because his goal is to meet as many females as possible and capture as much ground as possible," said Tatyana Baranovskaya, director of Land of the Leopard.
Lord the leopard (Leo 10) is a true star of the national park. Experts have been watching him since 2007; he is about 11 years old. He became popular in 2013 during a nationwide leopard naming contest and was given his name due to the wide stripes on his front paws, resembling gloves, an aristocratic accessory.