Extremely Rare Amur Leopard Cubs Make Their Debut at the San Diego Zoo!

Extremely Rare Amur Leopard Cubs Make Their Debut at the San Diego Zoo!

Facebook/San Diego Zoo

It's been an exciting few months for zoos across the U.S. as cubs of vulnerable or endangered species are being born. This is terrific news for conservationists working against the clock to save animals teetering on the brink of extinction.

Yesterday, it was announced by the San Diego Zoo that twin Amur leopard cubs had been born at the facility, which is a major boon for the world's most endangered big cat species anywhere on the planet.

Wildlife Baby Boom

The tiny twins' mother, known as Satka, is said to be doing well. "Satka is fur-miliar with her motherly duties," a recent Facebook post read. "When she's not in the den grooming and nursing the cubs, she is keeping a watchful eye as they begin to explore the habitat outside."

There's no word yet on whether or not the babies had been named, but often times zoos will ask the public for help in choosing a moniker — or two! For instance, last year, the Cincinnati Zoo asked for the public's assistance in naming a new baby hippo that was the little brother of the renowned Fiona.

Critically Endangered Species

This most recent arrival makes the third set of Amur leopard twins to be born in San Diego over the years. These new births help to increase the rare animal's plummeting populations with only about 120 specimens estimated to be left in the wild, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The animals are known for their thick, luxurious coats and full furry tails they're able to wrap around themselves for added warmth. During winter months, the hairs can grow up to nearly 3 inches in length!

The Amur leopard is a leopard subspecies native to the Primorye region of southeastern Russia and northern China. In the wild, they live to be between 10 and 15 years old. Listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, there are only a handful estimated to survive in southeastern Russia and northeastern China today. That's why these small milestones are far more significant than most people realize.

Andean Bears

In more baby-milestone news, visitors to the Smithsonian Zoo in Washington, D.C., were treated to the first sightings of twin Andean bear cubs this week on display in their specially designed habitat. Named Sean and Ian, Andean bears are listed as "vulnerable" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species. Today, it's estimated that less than 20,000 of the animals are left in the wild.

You can view the short video of the adorable leopard cubs on the Zoo's Facebook page or via YouTube below.


Rebecca West

Rebecca is a writer and editor for both print and digital with a love for travel, history, archaeology, trivia, and architecture. Much of her writing has focused on human and animal health and welfare. A life-long pet owner, she has taken part in fostering dogs for military members during deployment and given many rescued and surrendered dogs the forever home they always wanted. Her two favorite canine quotes are, "Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are," and "My dog rescued me."

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