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Black Panther Facts for Kids

Want to learn some cool facts about Black Panthers? We’ll talk about lots of amazing Black Panther facts for kids.  Read here to discover how a black panther hunts, raises its cubs, where it lives and more!

black panther walking from woods

Black Panther is a common name that we use for large cats with shiny black fur. There are three large cats that fit this description. A Black Panther is one of three species: the Black Leopard, the Black Jaguar, or the Black Puma.

While this article will focus on the Black Leopard, here is some information about the other two cats commonly referred to as Black Panthers.

Florida Panther

The Florida Panther is a subspecies of the Mountain Lion and a member of the Puma genus.  Florida Panthers have pale yellow eyes and tan fur. They have white bellies and chests. Florida Panthers also have black markings. The black markings can be found on the tip of the tail, the ears, and around the snout. Florida panthers can grow to be 7 feet long and weigh up to 160 pounds. Males are bigger than females.

The Florida Panther lives in Florida State, North America. They are only found in Florida’s southern corner. Florida Panthers live in wetlands, swamps, upland forests, and saw palmetto tree stands.

Florida panthers are solitary, nocturnal, and territorial creatures. They feed on medium-sized mammals, reptiles, and birds. The Florida Panther’s usual diet includes deer, feral hogs, racoons, and alligators.

Florida Panther cubs have spotted coats and blue eyes when they are born. The cubs’ spots fade as they get older, and their eyes turn from blue to yellow. Florida Panther cubs leave their mother when they are about 18 months old to find their own territory.

Florida Panthers are not threatened by predators, but by changes to their environment. The primary threat to Florida Panthers is habitat loss. Only about 130 Florida Panthers remain in the wild.

Black Jaguar

The Black Jaguar is a type of jaguar with a genetic mutation that gives its fur a black color. The Black Jaguar has rosette patterns with spots in the center of the rosette. These spots are subdued and hard to see because of the black fur. Black Panther Jaguars have green eyes that appear to glow in the dark. They are between 5 and 6 feet long, with tails that are 2 to 3 feet long. They weigh about 80 pounds.

The Black Panther jaguar is commonly referred to as a Black Panther in Latin America and Mexico, where it lives. Black Panther jaguars live mainly in the Amazon rainforests and nearby wetlands.

Black Jaguars are solitary, nocturnal, and territorial creatures. Jaguars are carnivores. Black Panther Jaguars prefer to eat large animals like capybaras, alligators, deer, and armadillos.

Baby Black Jaguar cubs are born with closed eyes. The cubs start hunting with their mother when they are about 6 weeks old. Black Panther jaguar cubs usually leave and find their own territory around two years old.

Jaguars once roamed a large area from the southern US to the tip of South America.  The jaguar's population is decreasing due to the destruction of its rainforest habitat. Jaguars are on the endangered list because only 600 remain in the wild.

Black Leopard

black panther baring teeth

Physical Description

The Black Panther leopard is a type of panther with a genetic mutation that causes its fur to be black. A Black Panther leopard is a big black cat with rosette patterns that are hard to see due to its black fur. Black Panther leopards range in length from 3 to 6 feet, not including their tail. Their tails are about 3 feet long. Male Black Panther leopards are much larger than females. Males weigh between 66 and 200 pounds. Females weigh between 50 and 130 pounds. In comparison to other cats, Black Panther leopards have shorter legs, longer bodies, and bigger heads. Black Panther leopards have green eyes that appear to glow in the dark at night.


We don't know every location where a Black Panther can be found. The Black Panther leopards we are familiar with live in Southeast Asia’s tropical rainforests. Most Black Panther leopards live on the Malay Peninsula. Black Panther leopards account for 90% of the leopards found on the Malay Peninsula.

There have been many reports of Black Panther leopards living throughout Africa. There is only evidence of Black Panther leopards living in Kenya, Africa. Scientists find it interesting that these Black Panther leopards are living in dry open grassland even though they prefer a dense forest habitat. Black Panther leopards are good at adapting to different environments.


black panther laying on tree limb

Black Panther leopards have different hunting habits depending on where they live. Black Panther leopards that live in the rainforests of Asia hunt in the daytime. Black Panther leopards that live in the open ranges of Africa usually hunt at night.

Black Panther leopards stalk and ambush their prey. They are very patient. They can spend days stalking their prey. A Black Panther leopard is very strong and can kill prey 10 times its own size.

The Black Panther leopard climbs a tree with its prey after capturing it. They climb as high as 20 feet while holding their prey in their jaws. The Black Panther leopard will then hide its prey at the top of the tree. This prevents other creatures from stealing it.

Black Panther leopards sleep in trees like other leopards. Male Black Panther leopards are territorial and defend their territory from other males.


As carnivores, Black Panther leopards are not picky eaters. They eat animals that range in size from a big antelope to a small mouse.  They have been known to eat reptiles, monkeys, and warthogs. Black Panther leopards plan carefully before they hunt their prey.  They consider how difficult the prey will be to catch. They also look for places they can hide while they are stalking prey. Black Panther leopards also think about whether they will get hurt. Black Panther leopards can adapt to different environments easily because of their diverse diet.


Black Panther leopards mate several times a year. They can mate every 20 to 50 days. Black Panther leopards give birth about 3 months after becoming pregnant. Mothers usually have 2 to 4 cubs in a litter. Only half the cubs from the litter will live to be a year old.

The cubs’ eyes will open by the time they are 2 weeks old. When the cubs are a few months old, they will begin to help their mothers hunt. Black Panther leopard mothers have a strong maternal instinct. She feeds her cubs until they are old enough to hunt on their own. When a cub is about 2 years old, it will leave its mother for its own territory.

black panther


Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Felidae

Genus: Panthera

Species: Panthera pardus (Leopards), Panthera onca (Jaguars)


Leopards are thought to have diverged from the common ancestor of cats about 11 million years ago. We don’t know much about the evolution of leopards or Black Panther leopards.

Leopard spots are thought to have evolved over time to help the leopard blend in with its surroundings. The Black Panther leopard’s fur is thought to have evolved to blend in with the shadows of its rainforest environment.


Black Panther leopards are at the top of the food chain in their natural habitat.  Humans are the only predators of black leopards.

All leopards are prey to hunters. Hunters kill leopards for their fur and whiskers.  Leopard skins are sold to make fur coats.  Leopard whiskers are sold as medicine. Leopards are also hunted by trophy hunters.  Farmers will poison leopards if leopards attack their livestock.

There is no legal protection for leopards or Black Panther leopards. Leopards are only safe from humans in wildlife parks and zoos.

Loss of habitat is another threat to leopards. Leopards are losing their natural habitats in the rainforest. Trees in rainforests are being chopped down for construction and agriculture. All leopards are affected by this loss of habitat. Because there are so few Black Panther leopards, habitat loss has a greater impact on their population. The loss of habitat also means that leopards have fewer animals to hunt and eat.


Leopards can live in the wild for up to 15 years and in captivity for up to 23 years. We don’t know how long a Black Panther leopard’s lifespan is.

black panther walking

What Sound Does a Black Panther Make?

Click on the audio file to hear the sound a 16 week old black panther makes.

25+ Interesting Facts

  1. Black Panther leopards account for 11% of the leopard population.
  2. We don’t know how many Black Panther leopards there are.
  3. The leopard is the smallest cat of the Panthera species.
  4. Some people in Africa believe seeing a Black Panther brings luck.
  5. Leopards are the largest cats that regularly climb trees.
  6. Leopards can run faster than humans at 36 miles per hour.
  7. Leopards can leap over 20 feet and jump up to 10 feet.
  8. Leopards use a variety of sounds to communicate, including grunts, roars, growls, and meows.
  9. Leopards can hear five times as many sounds as humans.
  10. Black panther parents can have spotted cubs.
  11. Leopard parents can have black panther cubs.
  12. A nickname for a Black Panther is “Ghost of the Forest”.
  13. Black panthers are dangerous and will kill humans if threatened.
  14. The Black Panther is a superhero who is named after the black panther animal.
  15. Black Panther leopards and Black Panther jaguars both have rosette markings, but the jaguar’s rosettes have spots inside them.
  16. Black leopards dislike swimming, but Black Panther jaguars are great swimmers.
  17. Leopards eat the widest variety of food of any large predator.
  18. Black panthers live on three continents.
  19. Black panthers are solitary creatures.
  20. Black panthers’ front legs are shorter and smaller than their back legs.
  21. Black panthers mark their territory with urine and poop.
  22. Black panther is the 4th most popular name for a sports team.
  23. Black panthers are the 5th largest species of cat.
  24. Black panthers are the best tree climbers of all the cats.
  25. Black panthers adapt better to living in human-populated areas than other big cats do.
  26. Luna, a baby black panther, was adopted from the zoo. She was raised as a pet alongside her Rottweiler brother.
  27. It is not recommended to keep any type of black panther as a pet.
  28. The Florida panther is the official state animal of Florida.
  29. Other names for a puma are mountain lion and cougar.
  30. Black leopards and jaguars don’t have conservation status, but they are considered endangered.
  31. After the tiger and lion, jaguars are the 3rd largest cat in the world.
  32. Jaguars are the biggest cats in the Americas.
  33. Florida Panthers have crooked tails.
  34. Black Jaguars make up only 6% of the South American Jaguar population.
  35. Jaguars were first put on the endangered species list in 1997.
  36. Florida Panthers were among the first species to be listed as endangered in 1973.

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