Black panthers have an average life span of about 12 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity. Female black panthers usually live longer.
Black panthers are certainly not the biggest animals in wild, but with well-built athletic body, powerful legs and jaws as well as superior hunting skills, they can win fights over all but a few stronger animals, such as lions, tigers, crocodiles, and pythons, in the wild. Black panthers may fight to the death for their home ranges or for mating partners. Other causes of death among black panthers include bacterial infections, rabies, and congenital heart defects.
The biggest threat to black panthers comes from human beings. The expansion of livestock ranching, residential and commercial land development poses a major threat for black panthers because it causes the loss or deterioration of habitat for them as well as for other wild animals. (See Endangered Black Panther section for more details.)