Lepjag

The Lepjag is the offspring of a Leopard (Panthera pardus) and a Jaguaress (Panthera onca) and is represented by the scientific name of Panthera pardus x Panthera onca.

The top 3 images were kindly permitted to PawsForWildlife for use by Deanna Deppen from the Shy Wolf Sanctuary. The cat depicted was a male named Bango, he was a rescue cat. Like most male hybrid offspring, Bango was sterile, and for this reason the breeders he was sold to (as a leopard) had no use for him. Shy Wolf Sanctuary kindly took Bango in to live out the rest of his days. Other than being sterile, Bango also had an immune disorder similar to sickle cell anemia. This illness was more than likely due to the mixed genes. Bango lived to the grand age of 16.

 

Bango the Lepjag

Deanna had the following to say about Bango’s physical form:

 

" Their {Lepjag’s in general} body type (from our limited experience) falls between the lean leopard and the stocky jaguar.  Also, unlike the leopard or jaguar, the rosettes seem to have no consistent pattern.  We found all sorts of shapes on Bango:  gingerbread man, the word “cool”, teepee, all black spot with a blue dot in the middle, etc.  There was no consistency and each animal is truly unique. "

 

Bango the Lepjag

The bottom image was kindly permitted to PawsForWildlife for use by Dr.Robert Lindner of the Haus der Natur in Salzburg. This particular Lepjag was born in the Salzburg Zoo in 1966 and died on the 5th April 1974 at the age of 8.

 

Lepjag from Salzburg

Other names for the Lepjag include the Leop-jag. In theory black Lepjags could be bred by using a melanistic (black) Jaguar as it would have the dominant allele (gene). The allele that cause Leopards to appear melanistic is a recessive gene. It is a huge shame when people hybridise big cats, not only does it jeopardise the survival of vulnerable species, but most offspring are sterile/infertile and are prone to other life-threatening complications. As the Leopard and Jaguar survive on separate continents, a Lepjag could only happen in captivity.

There is a case of a Lion x Lepjag (LeopardxJaguar) hybrid known as a Lijagulep, but we will save that for a separate post.