Endangered Leopards Pounce Into SD Zoo

Three very rare feline siblings made their debut over the weekend in San Diego

Rare Leopards Pounce onto the Scene at San Diego Zoo
Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is now home to a trio of very rare endangered cats.

Three 11-month-old Amur leopards made their debut at the San Diego Zoo over the weekend. According to zookeepers, the active new residents haven’t stopped pouncing, running and playing in their new digs – except, of course, for the occasional cat nap.

The sibling trio consists of two male leopards named Kushka and Primorye and their sister, Zeya.

They arrived at the San Diego Zoo from the Exotic Feline Breeding Compounds Feline Conservation Center in Rosamond, Calif., and are part of an international conservation program aimed at saving this critically endangered species.

According to the San Diego Zoo, less than 40 Amur leopards have been documented in the wilds of the Primorye region in Russia. The cats were once also found in northeastern China and the Korean peninsula, but have drastically decimated by loss of habitat and poaching.

In recent times, zoos around the world started a collaborative program to breed this rare feline species and today, there are 300 Amur leopards in zoos around Europe, Russia and North America, according to the San Diego Zoo.

The zoo said this particular trio may find new homes at other zoos one day as part of the ongoing breeding programs. But, until then, animal lovers can pounce on the chance to see these cats at the San Diego Zoo.

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