Guinness World Records has just confirmed a new record for the oldest leopard living in captivity. 
Ivory, a black African male leopard and star of film and television, has survived to the grand old age of 23.

UPDATE: 02/12/15 - Our records team have confirmed that Ivory has reached the grand old age of 24 years 58 days, as of 20 November 2015.
Born in 1991 and brought up as a performing pet, Ivory lived with his sister Crystal for all of his life until she recently passed away. 

The average lifespan of the male black leopard in the wild is between 12 and 17 years, with those in captivity likely to live much longer.
Explaining Ivory's longevity, Guinness World Records record manager Victoria Tweedy says: "Big cats in captivity often survive longer that their counterparts in the wild as they do not have to catch their own food, and have access to veterinary care." 

We spoke to Ivory's owner and trainer Donna Martin from California, USA all about her life with the multi-talented star.
What is Ivory's favourite thing to do in his leisure time?
What most cats like to do.  Ivory loves to walk in the creek bed and over the hills and chew on bushes. He enjoys laying in the sun on the grass in the yard, which he does more much regularly now that he is older and retired.
Any favourite foods, or is Ivory's diet strictly controlled?
As a treat he likes sautéed chicken livers in water.  He eats very little red meat and mostly turkey thighs, bones pounded down with celery juice added and parsley. It's good for cleansing the kidneys. Most big cats pass away at a much younger age because of eating the red meat which is very hot for their system. Also sometimes beets and wheatgrass are blended in.
Ivory oldest leopard in 2008
Roaring on cue in 2008
Why did you choose the name Ivory? 
Easy answer: because he is know for his snarls and showing his teeth or ivories.
Tell us a little more about Ivory's career in show business.
He starred in the Jungle Book movies, True Blood TV series, many commercials and music videos and also with models and other TV shows, like 90210.
Ivory at six years old, starring in 'The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli & Baloo'
Ivory at six years old, starring in 'The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli & Baloo'
What actors did he work with? 
Ivory has worked with Usher, Angelina Jolie, 50 Cent and many more.
What sort of scenes?
He snarls a lot, and in the old days running from A to B - just about everything!
Other than being very well behaved in front of the camera, does Ivory have any outstanding talents?
I think the fact that he can be handled and doesn't, for example, grab a models clothing. Ivory follows direction well to his mark, and he will growl and snarl on cue. He is very smart, and I've been able to teach him a new behavior within twenty minutes. He's not afraid of anything.

Ivory oldest leopard on set True Blood
Ivory on the set of US TV series True Blood in 2010
What's your background in animal welfare and training? 
Funnily enough the truth is actually none.  I always had a lot of cats and when I met Steve (Donna's husband of over 27 years who runs Working Wildlife - a company that specializes in over 100 unique 'animal actors') we decided to get a male and female black leopard in the knowledge that a live action movie of  the Jungle Book was coming up. I got Ivory and Crystal when they were under a week old.  I have always had a love and nurturing for my animals. Having the leopards with me all the time let me expose them to everything such as loud noises and different environments. While leopards as a species have a tendency to be shy, this made them unafraid.
Ivory oldest leopard as a cub
Ivory as a cub
Has Ivory ever fathered any cubs? 
No, but he has not been castrated and fully intact.