Usually, young black panther cubs donít begin to kill larger prey until their permanent canine teeth appear at about seven months of age. Bigger and stronger by this time, they are capable of killing most of medium-sized animals.
The learning process is not always smooth, though. The desperate prey often fights back fiercely. Larger prey, such as wild pigs or baboons, may prove too much for a young cub to handle. If the mother is absent or does not have enough time to come to rescue, the cubs may get hurt or even killed. Lions and hyenas are biggest threat to black panther cubs. Disease and fever are also among main causes of death of cubs. In each litter, fewer than 50 per cent of the cubs live up to a year.
By the time they reach the age of one, young black panthers gradually achieve greater and greater independence. Young male black panthers usually become independent earlier. Start around 18 months old, they settle elsewhere and create their own territories or home ranges. Young female black panthers often extend the mother-daughter relationship by taking over part of their motherís home range or settling near it. Almost all young black panthers become fully independent by the age of two when their mother is ready to give birth to a new litter.