Amur leopards are thought to be the world’s rarest big cat
, con intorno 120 left in the wild in Russia and China
, secondo il World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
, located in St
. Louis, announced the exciting birth on May 19 via Twitter
. The female cubs were born on April
21 to lucky parents Dot and Samson
, said the zoo
. Dot arrived at the zoo in
2020. She and the cubs will stay in a private maternity den for the next few months
“Dot is an excellent mother
. It’s exciting to see this first-time mom providing great care to her cubs
,” said carnivores curator Steve Bircher in un comunicato stampa.
“There are so few of these rare big cats left in the world and each birth is extremely important for the survival of the species.”
Il 4-year old Samson came to the zoo in
2021. Visitors can still catch a glimpse of Samson at the zoo’s
“Big Cat Country
” mostra. The pair were linked by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
, which matches Amur leopards strategically to cultivate a genetically healthy population in north American zoos
The cubs had their first veterinary checkup on May
5. Each weighed in at a healthy
2.5 libbre, said the zoo
. By the time they’re fully grown
, Anya and Irina will weigh in anywhere between
60 e 125 libbre.
Amur leopards have been driven to the brink of extinction, says the WWF, although conservation work has helped to raise their numbers. Their population has declined dramatically due to habitat loss and hunting.