Black leopards or "black panthers" are individual leopards with a genetic mutation know as melanism. Mealanism is the development of the dark-colored pigment melanin in the skin. In leopards it is caused by a recessive gene. In the wild black leopards are common in the equatorial rainforest of Malaya and the tropical rainforest on the slopes of some African mountains such as Mount Kenya. However black leopards are still the most common in captivity due to selective breeding in zoos and exotic pet trades over decades.
In Zoo Tycoon, it lives in the Tropical Rainforest. It lives well with the Clouded Leopard.
Zoo Tycoon 2
In Zoo Tycoon 2, there are no differences from the first game, except that it does not have climbing abilities.
In Zoo Tycoon 2 DS black leopard is renamed black panther.
Trivia not relevant for the game
In both Zoo Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon 2 the black leopard is inaccurately portrayed as its own species, but in reality its is just a color morph of normal leopards.
The subspecies of black leopard in Zoo Tycoon is probably the Indochinese leopard. While in Zoo Tycoon 2, the subspecies is African leopard.