Royal Palm Exceptional School Students Meet the Girls


The Pupils at the Royal Palm Exceptional School at 3050 Indian Street in Ft. Myers were delighted to meet two baby black leopards on Friday, October 6.  The leopards, friends of the Felids and Friends neighborhood, were the guests of Ms. Julie Steven's class.

The leopard's human parents came along to explain what it is like living with the girls.  They painted a picture of how the two 23 pound leopards jump and run around the house.  If you think it is easy living with these guys, think again.  Grace Rue and John Staby told the kids how they have to supervise the leopards to keep them out of trouble. Well, you have seen your house cat jump on almost anything - the leopards can literally jump straight up in the air and land just about anywhere they want.  The class was reminded that leopards have the best climbing ability of all the big cats.  Leopards are incredibly strong.  So, let your imagination describe the rest.

Did you know that all leopards have spots?  Yes, even the black ones do.  The term for back leopards to describe them is melanistic.  That means, their overall appearance is black, but if you look closely, you can see that they have spots.  Just like their spotted leopard brethren.

The two girls are only babies.  They have over a year and a half before they are full grown.  John and Grace have a big job ahead of them to train the girls on how to live with humans.  If the girls were born in the wild, their mother would teach them the many skills they would need to survive.  The wild mother would teach them how to stalk and kill their food.  In addition, their mother would show them which animals to hunt and which ones to leave alone.  The wild leopard mother would also teach them how to interact with other leopards and to be especially fearful of humans.


The proud human parents (Grace and John) show off Kayla.


As you As you can see, the two leopards kept the students and teachers, spellbound.


Teaching humans about leopards is hard work.


Every leopard should have a toy tiger.


TheseThese leopard babies even have their own beautiful girl.