Leopards come in a wide variety of coat colors, from a light buff or
tawny in warmer dryer areas to a dark shade in
deep forests. The spots, or rosettes, are circular in East African leopards but square in southern African leopards.
Leopards have long been preyed upon by man. Their soft, dense,
beautiful fur has been used for ceremonial robes and coats.
Different parts of the leopard the tail, claws and whiskers are popular as fetishes. These cats have a reputation as wanton
killers, but research does not support the claim. In some areas farmers try to exterminate them, while in others leopards are
considered symbols of wisdom. Leopards do well in captivity, and some have lived as long as 21 years.