Ancestors of leopards are believed to have lived in Africa in the late Miocene period. At the time, cloven-hoofed animals prevailed on the continent, when the diversity of cattle increased. Large feline species like leopard, lion, tiger, jaguar and panther evolved from common ancestor 2-3 million years ago.
Modern leopards emerged in Africa about 470 000 - 825 000 years ago and later spread throughout the Eurasian continent. Note that the remains found during excavations have various dates of origin.
Probably, the Eurasian leopard is the youngest species. They emerged 170 000 - 300 000 years ago as a result of migration from Africa to Central Asia, then eastward and southward, to India's current territory, Sri Lanka, South-East Asia, then to north China, Korea and far south Russia. Migration routes of leopard from Africa are similar to those of humans.
Leopard is predator feline species, one of four big cat sub-species of the panther. Leopard was included in the Red Book of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in the 20th century.