Intraspecific killing among Leopards (<i>Panthera pardus</i>) in Iran (Mammalia: Felidae)

<p>Intraspecific aggression is one of the most common causes of death in leopards. Here, we report four cases of intraspecific killing amongst Persian Leopards (<i>Panthera pardus saxicolor</i>) in Iran. A young male leopard was found on 7 June 2008 which, according to camera trap images, had been killed by an adult male over a Red Deer (<i>Cervus elaphus)</i> kill, with trauma to his neck in Dorfak No-Hunting Area. A young female that had been fitted with a satellite GPS collar on 6 December 2015 in Tandoureh National Park died on 29 January 2016 at a site where an Urial Sheep (<i>Ovis orientalis</i>) ram had been freshly killed. Necropsy results, footprints at the scene of death and camera trap footage all supported the deduction that the animal was killed by a larger female leopard at the kill site. On 13 January 2017, a young, partially eaten female leopard was found with double puncture on the side of her throat. Finally, a rehabilitated adult female fitted with a satellite GPS collar found on 19 December 2017 with a double puncture on her head with several trauma and haemorrhages on her back. These instances seem to be the first documented reports of intraspecific killing among free-ranging leopards in Asia.</p>