Colorado Springs, CO

Rare Amur leopard cubs born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Colorado Jill

(Colorado Springs, CO) The Amur leopard is the rarest big cat in the world. There are only about one hundred of these critically endangered animals left in the wild. The fast-moving, high-leaping felines live in the Far East, mainly in Russia and a few in China.

This week, the Amur leopard population grew by two.

On Wednesday, May 18th, Anya, a nine-year-old Amur leopard at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, became a first-time mom to two cubs. These cubs are the first Amur leopard babies born at the zoo in almost two decades.

Breeding big cats is difficult and often risky.

In 2016, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo suffered a heartbreaking loss when Zoya, an Amur tiger, was killed by her mate during a breeding session. Big cats are unpredictable, and a successful breeding pair warrants celebration.

Anya's mate, Anadry, arrived at the zoo in 2017, and the pair have spent time together for several years, but this is the first time they have successfully bred.

The zoo team will give mom and the cubs plenty of space and time to bond, watching them through cameras installed in Anya's den before the births. Amur leopard cubs are born blind and thus quite vulnerable, so they will remain out of the public eye for at least eight weeks.

The award-winning Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has just doubled its Amur leopard population, a huge step in helping this critically endangered species.

You can support the zoo's species survival mission through admission tickets, memberships, and donations. I'll see you there!

Related article: The black-footed ferret, once feared extinct, is alive in Colorado

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Jill is based in Colorado and writes about hidden gems, history, the great outdoors, and local events.

Colorado Springs, CO

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