Two critically endangered Amur Leopards were born at Florida’s Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens on November 16 while the zoo staff watched via remote video monitoring system.
“We are very proud of our leopards and our animal care team who have successfully brought two more of these extremely rare cats into the world,” said Dan Maloney, deputy director of conservation and education.
This is the third litter for female Makarii her mate Nicolai. The cubs were active immediately after birth and have been nursing frequently, which is a good indicator of the cubs’ strength and health.
Makarii and Nicolai have reared two previous litters in 2011 and 2012. Amur Leopards are managed under a Species Survival Plan program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Amur Leopards are one of the world’s rarest cats: only about 30 remain in the boreal forests of far eastern Russia. Zoo breeding programs are critical to the survival of this magnificent species.