Amagnificent prowl of 3 African Leopards fromZimbabwe. Known in the Shona language as Mbada. Hand sculpted from gorgeous Leopard rock and polished to ahigh lustre showing the natural variations of Zim. Leopard rock. Like Verdite this stone is classified semi-precious and is difficult for sculptors to procure. Shona sculpture is unique to Zimbabwe where this artform has been perfected over generations. This prowl captures instone the essence of "The African Leopard" in the artistseye. These would make a terrific and exotic giftfor someone special or on a bookshelf maybe. Weight 2lbs in total.The price you pay includes wood crating and insurance for peace of mind. I ship quickly, almost always by the next day. Thanks for looking and helping to support the artists.African LeopardFrom Wikipedia, the freeencyclopediaLeopards are graceful and powerful big cats closely related to lions, tigers, and jaguars. They live in sub-Saharan Africa, northeast Africa, Central Asia, India, and China. However, many of their populations are endangered, especially outside of Africa.The leopard is so strong and comfortable in trees that it often hauls its kills into the branches. By dragging the bodies of large animals aloft it hopes to keep them safe from scavengers such as hyenas. Leopards can also hunt from trees, where their spotted coats allow them to blend with the leaves until they spring with a deadly pounce. These nocturnal predators also stalk antelope, deer, and pigs by stealthy movements in the tall grass. When human settlements are present, leopards often attack dogs and, occasionally, people.Leopards are strong swimmers and very much at home in the water, where they sometimes eat fish or crabs.Female leopards can give birth at any time of the year. They usually have two grayish cubs with barely visible spots. The mother hides her cubs and moves them from one safe location to the next until they are old enough to begin playing and learning to hunt. Cubs live with their mothers for about two years—otherwise, leopards are solitary animals.Most leopards are light colored with distinctive dark spots that are called rosettes, because they resemble the shape of a rose. Black leopards, which appear to be almost solid in color because their spots are hard to distinguish, are commonly called black panthers.DescriptionAfrican leopards exhibit great variation in coat color, depending on location and habitat. Coat color varies from pale yellow to deep gold or tawny, and is patterned with black rosettes while the head, lower limbs and belly are spotted with solid black. Male leopards are larger, averaging 60kg (132lb) with 91kg (200lb) being the maximum weight attained by a male. Females weigh about 35–40kg (75–90lb) on average.Leopards inhabiting the mountains of theCape Provincesappear physically different from leopards further north. Their average weight may be only half that of the more northerly leopard.Between 1996 and 2000, 11 adult leopards were radio-collared onNamibianfarmlands. Males weighed 37.5 to 52.3kg only, and females 24.0 to 33.5kg.HabitatLeopard in a tree in theSerengeti,TanzaniaAfrican Leopards inhabit a wide range of habitats withinAfrica, from mountainous forests to grasslands and savannahs, excluding only extremely sandy desert. However they are most abundant in undisturbed rainforest. Leopards are most at risk in areas of semi-desert, where scarce resources often result in conflict with nomadic farmers and their livestock. Like most large mammals, they are generally absent in areas with a high population density of people.Diet and huntingLeopards have a very varied diet, which includesinsects,rodents,reptiles, and even largemammals, and will occasionally take domesticlivestockwhen other food is scarce. They are very strong and they have been known to carry prey many times their own weight (such asBlue Wildebeest) up into trees to protect the carcass fromscavengers. They are the onlybig catwho can carry their prey up into a tree. They arenocturnaland usually don’t hunt until dusk, however, they are opportunists and will hunt in the daylight when necessary.Leopards are very stealthy and like to stalk close and run a relatively short distance after theirprey. They kill through suffocation by grabbing their prey by the throat and biting down with their powerful jaws. They rarely fight other predators for their food.In theSerengeti National Park, leopards were radio-collared for the first time in the early 1970s. Their hunting at night was difficult to watch; the best time for observing them was after dawn. Of their 64 daytime hunts only three were successful. In this woodland area, they preyed mostly onimpala, both adult and young, and caught someThomson's gazellesin the dry season. Occasionally, they successfully huntedwarthog,dik-dik,reedbuck,duiker,steinbok,wildebeestandtopicalves,jackal,hare,guinea fowlandstarling. They were less successful in huntingzebras,kongonis,giraffes,mongooses,genets,hyraxand small birds. Scavenging from the carcasses of large animals made up a small proportion of their food.Shona ArtFrom Wikipedia:Shona artis contemporary stone sculpture fromZimbabwe. African stone sculpture is not traditional, although much of its subject matter has traditional roots. The art movement began around 1956 and was initiated byFrank McEwenwho at the time was the Director of The National Gallery of Rhodesia.During its early years of growth, it was described as an art renaissance, an art phenomenon and a miracle. Critics and collectors could not understand how an art genre had developed with such vigour, spontaneity and originality in an area of Africa which had none of the great sculptural heritage of West Africa and had previously been described in terms of the visual arts as artistically barren.Fifteen years of sanctions against the country obscured works from the Western world (apart from highly acclaimed exhibitions organised by Frank Mc Ewen in major museums such as Musee dArt Moderne, Paris; Musee Rodin, Paris; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, London). Yet these years also witnessed the honing of technical skills, the deepening of expressive power, the use of harder and different stones and the creation of many outstanding works.Since independence in 1980, the sculpture has been exhibited in the art capitals of the world and great acclaim has been accrued to the artists and the art form.In spite of the increasing demand, as yet little commercialisation has occurred. The most dedicated of artists display a high degree of integrity, never copying and still working entirely by hand, with spontaneity and a confidence in their skills, unrestricted by tedious drawings or measuring.The sculpture speaks of fundamental human experiences - experiences such as grief, elation, humour, anxiety and spiritual search - and has always managed to communicate these in a profoundly simple and direct way that is both rare and extremely refreshing. The artist 'works' together with his stone and it is believed that 'nothing which exists naturally is inanimate'- it has a spirit and life of its own. One is always aware of the stone's contribution in the finished sculpture and it is indeed fortunate that in Zimbabwe a magnificent range of stones are available from which to choose - hard black springstone, richly coloured serpentine and steatites, firm grey limestone and semi-precious Verdite and Lepidolite***********************************************Please browse through my other listings in my eCRATER store here:http://stores.eCRATER.com/africancraftworkYou will find :Exclusive hand carved Shona Stone sculptures.Musical instruments from Zimbabwe such as drums, mbiras, maracas & marimbas.Wire frame & beaded motorcycles, cars and animals, all hand assembled.An expanding quality selection of baskets and batik wall hangings.Walking sticks, masks and other ethnic curio & artifacts.Thank you!