San Diego Zoo Welcomes Twins of Critically Endangered Amur Leopards: “A Glimmer of Hope”

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Two Amur leopard babies were welcomed into the world by San Diego zookeepers, marking a significant accomplishment for the captive breeding of one of the world’s rarest animals.

The cubs, who were born on March 28th, were watched over by cameras from a distance while they became used to their surroundings and their mother Sitka.

San Diego Zoo animal care manager Gaylene Thomas said, “We are overjoyed with the progress made by the cubs.” “They have come a long way and are beginning to show off their own characteristics. When the cubs get their first thorough veterinary examination, we will learn more about them, including their sex.

Less than 200 Amur leopards exist worldwide. However, since 2007, the number of Siberian indigenous has either increased or remained relatively stable, with conservationists having only improved their ability to locate them.

Regardless, a 2021 camera-trap study located 110 individuals in the Land of the Leopard, a vast transboundary region of Siberia between China and Russia, close to the Amur River, which gives them their name. This is sixty more than in a comparable study conducted around eight years before.

The neonates from San Diego are the third litter born in captivity; they do not yet have names. The San Diego Zoo has been able to carry out a great deal of conservation work in Siberia because to its participation in the worldwide Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan. As previously indicated, the zoo says that this effort has boosted the number of Amur leopards by 50% over the last ten years.

This is a huge accomplishment that validates the effectiveness of conservation and our goal of creating a planet where all life flourishes. All we have to do is stay on track, and in the end, we’ll succeed,” they said.
These little ones are unlikely to ever see their hometown in Siberia due to the difficult logistics and high hazards involved. Besides, growing up in the snowy highlands of Eastern Russia, where a leopard may spend four days without food, is completely different from growing up in San Diego, one of the best year-round climates in the US with food available every day.

Their role is to essentially hold down the genetic fort and encourage zoogoers who may be moved to act on behalf of a stunning cat that comes from a country hundreds of miles away but that they are unlikely to ever see in the wild.

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