Amur leopards will be off-show to visitors at Scottish park

Amur leopards will be off-show to visitors at Scottish park

Two of the world's rarest big cats are to join a zoo's collection, but visitors will not be able to see them.

A female and a male Amur leopard are being introduced to a new enclosure at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's Highland Wildlife Park.

The society hopes that by keeping the cats off-show they will breed and rear cubs almost devoid of human contact.

If cubs are reared at the site in the Cairngorms it is planned to release them into the wild in Russia.

Amur leopards will be off-show to visitors at Scottish park

Douglas Richardson, head of living collections at the park near Kincraig, said: "A specially designed, off-show, breeding complex for Amur leopard is now complete and it was made possible due to a very generous anonymous donation.


"As the park has large, undeveloped areas, it gave us the opportunity to build an extensive leopard facility that would allow us to produce and rear cubs that were not familiar with humans, making them directly eligible for the Russian reintroduction project."

Amur leopards will be off-show to visitors at Scottish park

The male, Freddo, was born in Tallinn Zoo in Estonia and the female, Arina, was born at Twycross Zoo in the Midlands. Both were born in 2014.

Mr Richardson said: "If our leopards produce and rear cubs this year, we could be in a position to return cats to Russia by mid to late 2018, which is very exciting as our approach will dramatically abbreviate the reintroduction process.

"Our Amur leopards will never be on show to our visitors but we hope to create an information hub that will explain all about this exciting conservation project and hopefully educate people about the plight of these animals."

There are thought to be fewer than 70 Amur leopards in the wild.

Amur tigers, snow leopards and three polar bears are also in the park's collection.

Two of the polar bears, female Victoria and male Arktos, have been sharing the same enclosure. Park staff hope they will mate.

The bears first went into the same enclosure together last year. Victoria did not later go on to have cubs.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Ant and Decís Ant McPartlin moves mum in following rehab stint as he admits marriage to wife Lisa Armstrong is 'under strain'

Ant and Decís Ant McPartlin moves mum in following rehab stint as he admits marriage to wife..

19-Aug, 09:20

The Saturday Night Takeaway host recently left rehab after receiving...

Russia knife attacker wounds seven in Surgut

Russia knife attacker wounds seven in Surgut..

19-Aug, 06:51

Seven people have been wounded in a knife attack in the Russian city of...

Buying a home? Strategies for lowering your closing costs

Buying a home? Strategies for lowering your closing costs..

19-Aug, 15:36

Image source: Getty Images. Buying a home is likely to be the biggest...

Binky Felstead's baby India is the cutest playing with daddy Ė see the snap!

Binky Felstead's baby India is the cutest playing with daddy Ė see the snap!..

19-Aug, 12:00

by Sophie Hamilton Born in Chelsea Star Binky Felstead has shared the...

Tesla provides first look at cheaper Model 3 sedan

Tesla provides first look at cheaper Model 3 sedan..

09-Jul, 14:13

Electric automaker Tesla has produced its first Model 3 sedan, a highly...

Sports Bra Science: Can You Go Jiggle-Free?

Sports Bra Science: Can You Go Jiggle-Free?..

01-Mar, 01:38

In search of the perfect sports bra? You're not alone. And the bustiest...

New ads target House Republicans for supporting GOP health plan

New ads target House Republicans for supporting GOP health plan..

11-Apr, 10:32

A liberal organization is targeting a group of centrist House Republicans...

Immigration judge frees Mexican activist US trying to deport

Immigration judge frees Mexican activist US trying to deport..

09-Jun, 20:21

A Mexican woman was released from custody Friday while the U.S....