The African Big 5 were chosen to feature on the silver Wildlife coins from 2000 to 2004. The Lion introduced this new legal tender coin series in 2000. The Buffalo followed in 2001 . Then come the Elephant in 2002 and the Rhinoceros in 2003. The last of the Big 5, the Leopard (Panthera pardus), features on this year’s four silver proof coins.
Different aspects of this unique animal are depicted as the main design element in the inner circle, with a stylized leopard image and the denomination in the outer circle completing the coin’s design. The common obverse of each coin features the Sou1h African coat of arms, the words “South Africa” and the dote 2004.
The leopard’s adaptability, elusiveness and stealth are its passport to survival, for it is at home in a wide range of habitats. Because of its extreme adaptability, the leopard’s distribution is for more widespread than that of the lion and cheetah, although the leopard is probably the least encountered of Africa’s big cats.
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful of the world’s big cats, the sight of on African leopard in the wild is an unforgettable experience. This extraordinary cat has been ingrained in the lives and culture of the people of Africa. There is on ancient African legend which claims that the spots of a leopard reflect the spoor of all wild animals living around it, and of changing into any of these animals, making it the because of this, the leopard is capable source of life.