Saint Louis Zoo’s feisty, 10-week-old Amur leopard cub twins Irina and Anya got the zoomies! (They are 9 weeks old by the end of this video. They were born April 21, 2022.)
Play is serious business for young cats. These rambunctious games of chase, tag, and hide-and-seek help them practice the skills they will need as adults, such as stalking, pouncing, and socializing.
Momma Dot is patient while teaching her babies how to be leopards. She lets them climb on her to play “king of the hill,” teases them with her tail, and will gently bite and swipe as a sparring partner. When she needs a break, she will give them “time out” by briefly holding them down with her big paw. In between the play sessions are bouts of nursing and sleeping. All that play wears them out – but it is both fun and important for their development! The cubs have tasted meat but still nurse consistently from Dot. They have begun grooming themselves, just like Dot has shown them.
Follow the leopards at http://www.stlzoo.org/leopard
Photos by Victor Alm/Saint Louis Zoo