This is the first Amur leopard born at the Zoo in over 20 years
(August 11, 2020) Santa Barbara, CA -- On August 6th at 4:05 am, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s Amur leopard, Ajax, gave birth to her first cub. The cub is a female and has been given the name Marta. The cub weighed in at 517 gms (1.1 lbs) at its first medical examination on August 6.
Ajax and the new cub have remained in their den behind the scenes during their critical bonding period and were not visible to the public for sever months. Once mom and cub bonded and the cub received a clean bill of health, Ajax and the cub began rotating with the father, Kasha, in having access to their exhibit habitat. In the wild, males and females usually do not remain together after breeding occurs, so this separation is important for the safety of Ajax and the cub.
The baby Sri Lankan Leopard at Royal Burgers’ Zoo in The Netherlands has been vaccinated for the second time against cat flu and has been dewormed. Thanks to this booster, the animal is now immune to this common feline disease and hopefully also preventively rid of any worms.
At the age of about three months, the youngster can get acquainted with its mother for the first time in the large outdoor enclosure. Until then, the young can continue to grow in the pleasant warmth of the indoor enclosure thanks to mother's milk.
Monday morning 18 October 2021, Burgers’ Zoo veterinarian Henk Luten vaccinated a six-week-old Sri Lankan leopard against feline panleukopenia and cat flu, dewormed it and microchipped it. The leopard is a female. There are 77 Sri Lankan leopards living in zoos worldwide, 38 males and 39 females. It is estimated that between 200 and 400 leopards still exist in the wild in Sri Lanka.
The six-week-old Sri Lankan leopard was touched by human hands for the first time on Monday, 18 October. The cub will receive a second vaccination at the age of about nine weeks, after which it will be immune to feline panleukopenia and cat flu. Not long after the second vaccination, the cub will be introduced to the enclosure for the first time under the watchful eye of its mother.
Vinnie the Banded Palm Civet was born to a pair of civets living behind the scenes at the Zoo and is just about a month old. Nashville Zoo’s veterinary team is hand-rearing Vinnie. The hope for Vinnie is that he will become an ambassador animal. Civets are nocturnal so Vinnie spends the majority of his day napping. He will be hand-reared until he is fully weaned, and the vet team estimates that it will be in about a month. Full-grown Civets can weigh around 6 pounds. You can come see Vinnie in the window of the neonatal room at Nashville Zoo's HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center.
On August 6th at 4:05 am, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s Amur leopard, Ajax, gave birth to her first cub, and the two are doing well and currently bonding behind the scenes. The cub is a female and has been given the name Marta by her Premier Foster Feeder sponsors, Marta Holsman Babson and Henrietta Holsman Fore. The cub weighed in at 517 gms (1.1 lbs) at its first medical examination on August 6.
This is the first Amur leopard birth at the Santa Barbara Zoo in more than 20 years. Ajax is the most genetically valuable female Amur leopard in North America currently, so this first cub from her will contribute valuable genetics to the population in human care. Amur leopards are the most endangered of all the big cats, with less than 100 remaining in the wild, and the Zoo has been attempting to breed the species for several years now as part of the conservation efforts for this species. This is the fourth litter for Kasha, who arrived at the Zoo in March 2020, just prior to the first coronavirus closure. The pairing of Ajax and Kasha was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) as part of the Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP), a program to maintain genetic diversity of threatened and endangered species in human care.
Animal care staff at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) are hand-raising a male cheetah cub for several weeks before placing the cub with a foster cheetah mother at another zoo. The cub was one of a litter of three born to 7-year-old female Sukiri Sept. 16; the other two cubs were stillborn. Keepers report the cub is strong, active, vocal and eating well. The Cheetah Cub Cam is offline as the cub is no longer in the den.
While Sukiri nursed the surviving cub overnight, providing critical warmth, colostrum and hydration, she started to ignore the cub the morning of Sept. 17. She did not appear agitated when the cub was removed by keepers from her yard later that day and continues to behave and eat normally. Sukiri ate the two stillborn cubs, which is not unusual for a carnivore and in line with wild female cheetah behavior as a dead cub invites predators.
Animal care staff are staying around the clock to feed the cub every 2 to 3 1/2 hours in SCBI’s veterinary hospital. The cub is being fed a formula used successfully to hand-raise cheetah cubs at other zoos. In the coming weeks, a female cheetah at another AZA-accredited zoo is set to give birth. At the recommendation of the SSP, this cub will be introduced to that litter pending any other developments.
SCBI spearheads research programs in Virginia, the Zoo in Washington, D.C., and at field research stations and training sites worldwide. SCBI scientists tackle some of today’s most complex conservation challenges by applying and sharing what they learn about animal behavior and reproduction, ecology, genetics, migration and conservation sustainability.
On Thursday 19th August, Linton Zoo’s female Tapir Tiana gave birth to a healthy female calf after a normal 13-month gestation. We are pleased to say that Mum, Dad and new baby, as yet un-named, are all doing well.
The Brazilian tapir is a large heavily built mammal of a strange prehistoric appearance. The tapir is in fact so well adapted to its environment that it has remained unchanged for about 30 million years. It lives deep in the Brazilian rainforest where, because of the destruction of its habitat and illegal hunting it is has already become extinct in part of its range. The tapir is a shy creature taking to water when threatened where it is able to stay submerged for hours using its long nose to snorkel until such time it feels it is safe to surface. They feed on roots and vegetation but never strip a bush bare of its leaves, zigzagging their way through the undergrowth, conserving the habitat.
Although tapir have survived for millions of years, living in harmony with nature, their future in the wild is by no means secure. A European breeding programme will provide a safeguard against extinction for these wonderful creatures.
Two Amur Leopard cubs born at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo on June 19 had their six-week health checks last week. This was the first time that the care team has handled the cubs, who have been bonding with their mom, Tria, behind the scenes. The cubs’ father is Rafferty.
Photo Credit (all except top photo): Maria Simmons
Amur Leopards are the most endangered of all big Cats, so this birth is a significant boost for the species. Fewer than 90 individuals remain in the wild in their native habitat in the Amur River Basin in Far East Russia.
The zoo’s care team has been observing the cubs via closed-circuit camera with minimal intervention to allow Tria to care for them undisturbed, and she has proven to be a great mom. Veterinary staff were able to administer the cubs’ 6-week vaccinations during the checkup, as well as weigh them and check their development. The male weighed 6.2 pounds, and the female weighed 5.6 pounds.
The zoo acquired Tria and Rafferty last year from the Greenville, SC. and San Diego zoos respectively as part of the Species Survival Plan for Amur Leopards.
This species faces extinction because of habitat destruction for logging and farming, overhunting of its prey by humans and illegal poaching for their beautiful coats. Those in the wild are now protected in a preserve established by Russia in 2012, but the wild population is so small that inbreeding has become another threat to the species’ survival.
Two seven-month-old Sri Lankan Leopard cubs at Burgers' Zoo in the Netherlands showed off their climbing skills on a new video released by the zoo. The cubs' antics were captured by a Go-Pro camera mounted at the top of the rope.
The playful duo are an important part of efforts to protect this rare Leopard subspecies, which is classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Sri Lankan Leopards are one of nine Leopard subspecies and are found only on the island of Sri Lanka, which lies off the eastern coast of India.
Burgers' Zoo has a successful history of breeding Sri Lankan Leopards, and the offspring produced here help to maintain a genetically diverse population within European zoos.
Motion-sensitive cameras hidden in a unique breeding area at Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park revealed that two Amur Leopard cubs have emerged from their den.
The park announced July that Amur Leopard Arina had given birth. However, with human presence being kept to a minimum in the Leopard habitat, the number of cubs born was unknown.
Photo Credit: RZSS Highland Wildlife Park
The cubs emerged from a den located deep within undergrowth in a remote section of the park, which is not accessible to visitors. This strategy of keeping human contact to a minimum makes the cubs good candidates for reintroduction to the wild – part of a desperate attempt to save these rare Cats from extinction. Fewer than 70 of these Critically Endangered animals remain in the Russian Far East.
Douglas Richardson, head of living collections at the park, said, “Our Amur Leopard habitat is the only one within the zoo community which has been designed to breed these extremely rare Cats with the aim of producing cubs that are eligible for reintroduction to the wild.” This ensures the cubs will retain their wild instincts and behavior.
“While this would be incredibly complex, it would also be a world first and a huge step forward in the conservation of this critically endangered Cat,” Richardson said.
Freddo, the cubs' father, came from Tallin Zoo in Estonia, while Arina was born at Twycross Zoo. Both Leopards arrived at the park in 2016.
Although progress has been made in recent years, habitat loss, poaching and conflict with humans remain threats to the Amur Leopard.
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland is working with partners, including ZSL (Zoological Society of London) and conservation authorities in Russia. It is hoped that cubs born at Highland Wildlife Park can be released into a region northeast of Vladivostok in the Russian Far East, part of the Amur Leopard’s historic wild range.
“One of the key factors in deciding the next steps will be determining the sex of the cubs, which we expect to find out during initial health checks over the next few weeks,” said Richardson.
“If the cubs are the same sex, ideally female, then there is a good possibility both may be candidates for reintroduction, while if we have a brother and sister then only one would be eligible to avoid them breeding together,” Richardson said.
“Although there are no guarantees of success and we are reliant on international partners, reintroducing at least one of our cubs to the wild may be possible in the next two to three years. This would need to be a phased approach, with young Leopards spending some time acclimatizing and sharpening their survival skills in a contained, naturalistic environment within the proposed location of Lazovsky Zapovednik, before being released and monitored,” said Richardson.
The cubs, now three months old, will be named when their sex is known.
Using a tiny high-resolution camera, zoo keeper Theo Kruse filmed two little Sri Lankan Leopard cubs playing and nursing from their mother in the family’s private maternity den at Burgers’ Zoo in The Netherlands.
The footage shows the two-month-old cubs, a male and a female, climbing on their mother and jostling for a prime nursing spot on mom’s belly. The family has access to a spacious outdoor habitat but still spends a great deal of time in the cozy maternity den.
Sri Lankan Leopards are one of nine Leopard subspecies and live only on the island of Sri Lanka. With fewer than 1,000 of these Cats remaining in the wild, Sri Lankan Leopards are classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
Burgers’ Zoo has had great success breeding these rare Leopards and participates in the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) of EAZA zoos (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria). Both parents are genetically valuable to the breeding program because they represent a new bloodline. This helps to keep the European zoo population as genetically diversified as possible.
Two endangered Sri Lankan Leopards born on May 26 at Burgers’ Zoo had their first veterinary checkup last week.
The cubs, a male and a female, were vaccinated, sexed, and microchipped for identification. Both were pronounced healthy and strong by the zoo’s veterinarian.
Photo Credit: Burgers' Zoo
You can peek into the den where the cubs live with their mother on the zoo’s live stream. The cubs will remain with their mother for two years. After that time, they will be paired with unrelated mates at other accredited zoos that breed this species. Such moves help ensure genetic diversity and sustainability in the zoo-dwelling population.
Sri Lankan Leopards are one of nine Leopard subspecies. They are found only on the island of Sri Lanka, which lies off the southern tip of India. Fewer than 1,000 Sri Lankan Leopards remain in the wild, and they are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Poaching and loss of suitable habitat are the main threats to the subspecies. The endangered status of the Sri Lankan Leopard makes the birth of these two cubs significant for the cats’ conservation.
The Brookfield Zoo is thrilled to announce the birth of two male Amur Leopard cubs. Born on April 18, the now 8 and 9 pound, two-month-old cubs are doing well and bonding with their mom, Lisa, behind the scenes. It is anticipated they will be making their public debut to zoo guests in mid-July.
Photo Credit: Cathy Bazzoni/Chicago Zoological Society
Lisa, 7, and the sire, Kasha, 8, were introduced back in 2015, and are also the parents of Temur, a 2-year-old male who was recently transferred to another accredited zoo. Both parents were brought to Brookfield Zoo in 2013—Lisa from Saint Louis Zoological Park, and Kasha from Le Parc des Felins in France—as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP). An SSP is a cooperative population management and conservation program for select species in accredited North American zoos and aquariums. Each plan manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.
The Amur Leopard is critically endangered with less than 65 animals left in the wild. To help the species, in 2013, an Amur Leopard Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) was convened under the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). The GSMP involves several regional zoo associations: the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in North America, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the Eurasian Regional Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EARAZA). Through the GSMP, each of the participating organizations is able to maximize the genetic health, diversity, and sustainability of the managed population, which is important in the event a reintroduction plan is established. It has also been beneficial in sharing information and has increased greater cooperation between the regions in order to strengthen both in situ and ex situ conservation efforts for this species.
Currently, there are 82 Amur Leopards in 42 accredited North American zoos. The work that Brookfield Zoo is doing and the successful birth of these two new cubs marks a crucial addition to the species population.
“We are all very excited about the births of our two Amur Leopard cubs,” said Amy Roberts, senior curator of mammals for the Chicago Zoological Society. “It is our hope that guests will not only enjoy seeing these very charismatic cubs exploring and playing in their outdoor habitat, but will also gain an appreciation for the species and learn why conservation efforts are so important for this Leopard.”
Amur Leopards, known for their keen senses of hearing, vision, and smell, are a nocturnal species. Their range previously encompassed the Amur River basin and the mountains of northeastern China and the Korean peninsula. Today, they are found only in one isolated population in the Russian Far East, although there may be a few individuals in the Jilin Province of northeast China. They are the northernmost subspecies of Leopard in the world and are often mistaken for Snow Leopards. Amur Leopards live in temperate forests with cold winters and hot summers, and typically rest in trees and dense vegetation or among the rocks during the day. The biggest threats to these solitary animals are poaching; retribution hunting; a decrease in their habitat from fires, logging, and human settlement; and a decline in their prey.