The song's title was inspired by Luchino Visconti 1963 film adaptation of Giuseppe di Lampedusa's novel The Leopard
. Said Rhodes: "The Visconti film was very much in my mind when I came up with the title. It's about an obsession and a relationship. Very dark and experimental."
Bass player John Taylor added: "The title got to me. What the hell could a song called that be about? I thought about the photographer Peter Beard, and a book of his Simon had bought me for Christmas. What if a guy like that, on an assignment in Africa, became entranced by an exotic beast, obsessed to such a degree that he found a way to smuggle it back to the States, where it is kept under lock and key right there in the guy's home? Of course, it was an analogy for a woman, too. It reminded Nick of The Collector
(John Fowles). Ultimately it became a duet (featuring Kelis), so that the Leopard would have a voice. For added authenticity we composed a mock-news report for the vamp-out." (Source of above two quotes Genero.tv