- 25:168 year(s):day(s)
- United States (Frazier Park)
The oldest leopard Panthera pardus presently in captivity is Ivory, a male melanistic (all-black) African leopard, who was born on 23 September 1991 and reared as a performing pet. Ivory is owned by Steve Martin's Working Wildlife, at Frazier Park in California, USA. He has appeared in many films and TV shows as well as commercials and music videos, working alongside the likes of Angelina Jolie, Usher, and 50 Cent, and as of 10 March 2017 he was 25 years 168 days old.
Melanistic leopards are commonly referred to as black panthers, but despite their all-black colouration they are not a separate species from normal spotted leopards. Instead, their colouration is simply the result of the expression of a single mutant gene form (allele). In the wild, melanistic leopards are often rare, except in dark tropical jungles, such as in southeast Asia, where their black colouration enables them to remain concealed very effectively in shadows when stalking prey, as a result of which such jungles often contain more melanistic leopards than normal spotted ones.