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Life cycle of the Black Panther
It is common for female Black Panthers to give birth to their first litter at two and a-half years old.
Black Panthers mate at any time of the year.
They are solitary animals.
Adult male Panthers live alone for most of their adult lives.
A male Black Panther only stays together with the female Panther a few days during the mating period.
The gestation period is about 90 to 105 days.
The female black Panther is the sole provider and caregiver of her cub.
Mother Panthers and her Cubs
A black panther cub is usually born in the same litter along with other light-coloured Cubs.
Typically, a litter consists of two to three cubs but can on occasion sometimes, up to six.
Black panther cubs are born with their eyes closed and are covered with faintly spotted smoky grey fur.
They weigh about 450 to 1000 g (16 to 35 oz).
The mother leopard stays in her den all the time during the first few days after the birth to rest and nurse the newborn
Cubs spend most of their time sleeping and nursing on their mother’s milk.
Panther Cubs open their eyes after about ten days from birth.
The mother leopard leaves her cubs unattended as she travels far from the birth den to find food.
The cub panthers are vulnerable to being prey when their mother is out hunting
Black Panther cubs follow their mother on hunting trips when they are two to three months old.
They begin to eat meat then around two to three months.
Picking up hunting skills from watching their mother.
They learn how to hide from enemies and start off by hunting smaller prey such as grass hoppers and lizards, than mice and rats.
To protect themselves from predators, black panther cubs develop tree-climbing skills.
The mother has to keep an eye on them all the time during this period of time as they are still vulnerable to enemies.
The Black Panther cubs become fully independant around two years of age.
They can live about 12 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.
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