Zanzibar Leopard | Extinction And Surprising Facts

Zanzibar was the biggest land-based carnivore on the island and the top predator. The Zanzibar leopard is a type of leopard found in Africa. in this article, there is detailed information about them.


Leopard Pardus is the scientific name for the Zanzibar leopard, which is sometimes known as the African leopard. Due to persecution and habitat degradation, these creatures are believed extirpated in Tanzania. The Zanzibar leopard was demonized and killed in the 20th century because of increased conflict between humans and leopards. 

Taxonomy of  Zanzibar leopard:

Great Reginald Innes gave it the scientific name Panthera pardus adersi and described it as a subspecies of the leopard. By using molecular genetics studies, the leopard was grouped in 1996 under the African leopard (P. p. Pardus).

Evolutionary history Zanzibar leopard:

At the end of the Last Ice Age, as the seas rose, Zanzibar became separated from the rest of Tanzania. Based on the founder effect and how it has changed to fit the local environment, this leopard is smaller and its spots have broken up into rosettes.

Even though this population looks different from those on the mainland, its genes are not as different as those of people who are now considered to be different subspecies. This population, along with all others in Africa, is considered one subspecies.

Behavior and ecology of Zanzibar leopard:

Researchers and zoologists don’t know a lot about how Zanzibar leopards act and what their ecological status is. Few researchers said in the 1980s that they had seen the last Zanzibar leopard. Most zoologists think that this means the Zanzibar leopard is either extinct or very close to going extinct.

As of the mid-1990s, government statistics show that leopards were still being killed by hunters in Zanzibar, and islanders still report seeing leopards and having their livestock eaten.

Conservation of Zanzibar leopard:

People in rural Zanzibar say that they give leopards to witches so that they can attack or bother villagers. People think that witches breed and train leopards for bad reasons, and they have a lot of ideas about how they do this.

Local farmers say that leopards are “out of place” near farms and villages because they eat livestock and kill people.

During the 20th century, when the human population grew and more people started farming, people moved into the leopard’s habitat and killed it. As there were more problems between people and leopards, there were many campaigns to get rid of leopards.

Leopards have been seen on the island, and the people who live there think the Leopard of Zanzibar is still alive. Leopards were thought to be extinct in Zanzibar by the early 1990s, but in 2018, one was caught by a camera trap, giving people new hope that the population will stay alive.

In 1997, scientists looking for leopards couldn’t find any, so the Jozani-Chwaka Conservation Project gave up on a plan to protect leopards.

However, advocates for leopard conservation remained upbeat, and several Zanzibaris recommended visiting leopard keepers and requesting that they allow paying guests to view their animals.

The “kept leopard chase” method of rewarding tourists and researchers for seeing “domesticated” leopards has never been successful.

According to the researcher, there is a disagreement between the Zanzibar leopards’ conservation status and their own.

Is The Zanzibar Leopard Extinct?

On Unguja Island, a survey was carried out to gather information about this species in 1996. Data were gathered from interviews with Zanzibaris from several villages throughout the island as well as copies of official records kept by the National Hunter.

Over half of the 52 villagers that were interviewed were either current or previous hunters. Interviews revealed that between 1990 and 1996, there were annual reports of leopard sightings, demonstrating an established leopard population.

We estimate that the species was still present on the island in 1996. By combining this information with National Hunters’ records, which document leopards killed between 1985 and 1995. However, the subsequent investigation conducted by other researchers used camera traps, audio recordings. And signs to look for leopards but was unsuccessful in finding any.

Since Zanzibar leopards were thought to be extinct 25 years ago. When a wildlife biologist caught one on camera, the classification was changed. Leopards used to live in Zanzibar, but that was 25 years ago. Still, a biologist just took a picture of a Zanzibar leopard. Which brought up many questions about how far these leopards go. Few other species of tigers are also went extinct like Caspian tiger, Tasmanian tiger and saber tooth tiger.


The Zanzibar leopard also referred to as the African leopard, has the scientific name Leopard Pardus. Because there was more friction between people and leopards in the 20th century, the Zanzibar leopard was demonized and exterminated. According to the majority of zoologists, this indicates that the Zanzibar leopard is either extinct or imminently endangered. The conservation state of the Zanzibar leopards differs from their own, the researcher claims.