Leopon (Male Leopard + Female Lion)
The fusion of a male leopard and a female lioness, the Leopon is an eye-catching crossbreed, with its leo-like head and leopard-like body. Bred for the first time in mid-19th century India, Leopons have pale coats, while their heads, bellies, and spines display unique brownish spots.
With the leopard’s climbing ability, and the lion’s swimming prowess, this beautiful big cat can grow as big as a lion though their legs are shorter and appear more like a leopard. Male Leopons can grow a mane, though their efforts will never quite reach the majesty of the lion’s and their tails don’t have the same tuft of fur at the end that their lioness mother’s does.
Leopons can live to be between 15-20 years old, which is longer than a lion, who lives to approximately 13 years old, but shorter than leopards, who survive until they are around 23. They are extremely rare, and though some female Leopons can reproduce, most Leopons are sterile, and all male Leopons are completely unable to reproduce. You won’t come across many Leopons in the wild either, though unexpected lion/ leopard pairings have frequently happened in captivity, to the surprise of many breeders. With that being said, there have been several anecdotal reported sightings of wild Leopons in a variety of places throughout Africa, particularly Cameroon, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. We don’t think you’ll be spotting any while you’re in your local park though, which is a bit of a shame as we think these stunning spotted crosses are a truly one-off mix.