Critically Endangered Amur Leopard Twins Born at the San Diego Zoo: ‘A Glimmer of Hope’.

” There are so few of them left in their native habitat that every birth carries a lot weight– and every living individual guarantees a glimmer of hope,” claimed Gaylene Thomas with the zoo.

he San Diego Zoo is celebrating the birth of the Amur leopard cubs– one of the world’s rarest cat types.

According to a San Diego Zoo Wild Animals Alliance (SDZWA) launch, fewer than 300 of these seriously endangered big cats remain in the world, making this twin cub birth ” specifically significant.”

” Seeing the birth of Amur leopards is always an emotional experience,” said Gaylene Thomas, a wildlife care manager at the San Diego Zoo. “There are so few of them left in their native habitat that every birth carries a lot weight– and every living individual guarantees a glimmer of hope.”

The California zoo announced the leopard births on March 28, and the cubs lately emerged from the birthing den they show mom Sitka for the first time. The baby leopards were in their den for numerous weeks, according to the zoo, bonding and learning from their mother.

Zoo staffers saw the cubs grow up through a remote camera system that allowed the pet caretakers to analyze the cubs’ habits and document their development without interfering with bonding time.

” We are definitely thrilled with the progress made by the cubs,” claimed Thomas. “They have grown so much, and have already started showcasing their unique characters. The cubs will obtain their first full vet test soon, and we will know more, including their sex.”

Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

The adorable cub duo– not yet called– makes up the 3rd Amur leopard litter born at the San Diego Zoo. Previously, Sitka and the zoo’s male Amur leopard Oskar had two women cubs in 2018 and 2 male cubs born in 2020.

These births were feasible because of an initiative from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Amur Leopard Types Survival Strategy, which assesses how to keep the populations of threatened and endangered animals.

Amur leopards are listed as seriously endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Types, according to SDZWA.

The leopards’ all-natural habitat is in the mountainous forests of eastern Russia and north China, per National Geographic. A refuge area for the Amur leopard was created in 2012 along the Russian and Chinese border called the Land of the Leopard National Park, which assisted populations in the region double over a decade.

Ken Bohn, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

“San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s work in Asia is essential for conserving endangered types that call that region home,” said Dr. Nadine Lamberski, the chief conservation and wild animals health officer for San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. ” The bright side is, we see positive results. For example, via the efforts of various on-the-ground conservation companies and zoological organizations, the Amur leopard population has actually lately raised by greater than 50 percent.

“This is a huge achievement, proving that conservation works and our vision to build a world where all life grows can be recognized. We only require to maintain the program, and ultimately, we will certainly succeed,” they added.