Two cubs of the Far Eastern Leopard have been born in the Moscow Zoo’s Centre for Rare Animal Species Reproduction. Their father was saved from poachers in the Primorye Territory. They are the first cubs of this wild cat that have been born in captivity for the last 60 years.
“Both cubs are male. The kittens feel extremely well and are developing harmonically,” said head of the PR department of the national park Maria Okulova.
Their father, called Nikolai, was found in the territory of the Land of Leopard national park near the Chinese border back in 2015. He was a kid and was injured. According to experts, he had injured his paw in a poacher’s trap. In 2016 the animal was brought to the the Moscow Zoo’s Centre for Rare Animal Species Reproduction, where he was introduced to a young female called Akra brought from the Tallinn Zoo.
Nikolay the leopard has become a founder of a new genetic line of leopards in captivity – the first in 60 years. In the future, the descendants of Leo 80M (under this identification number Nikolay is registered Nicholas) can return to the forests of the south of the Far East.
"The cubs have a high genetic value and are of great importance for the European Program for the conservation of the Amur leopard population in captivity. When the cubs grow up, they will go to one of the leading zoos in the world, and later will be able to have offspring and contribute to the preservation of this rare species", said General Director of the Moscow Zoo Svetlana Akulova.