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
Political therapy

Political therapy..

26-Apr, 00:24

First stop was the House of Commons, for a tour with veteran Conservative...

Trump tax plan slashes taxes for ‘some’ businesses and wealthy estates

Trump tax plan slashes taxes for ‘some’ businesses and wealthy estates..

26-Apr, 16:40

The White House is proposing comprehensive tax reforms which are said to...

Ferne McCann opens up about ‘real man’ ex boyfriend Arthur Collins as she praises him for ‘putting me in my place’ WEEKS before confirming she is pregnant with his child

Ferne McCann opens up about ‘real man’ ex boyfriend Arthur Collins as she praises him..

26-Apr, 16:17

And now the star’s feelings for her former beau have been revealed in an...

..

26-Apr, 07:10

Jessica Biel has opened up about the importance of family life "You have...

Lego sees record revenue as demand grows globally

Lego sees record revenue as demand grows globally..

09-Mar, 05:17

Danish toy maker Lego says its famous colored toy blocks were in high...

US cancer deaths are decreasing, study finds

US cancer deaths are decreasing, study finds..

31-Mar, 17:37

More people are surviving the most common forms of cancer as cancer...

New Zealand judge upholds Kim Dotcom extradition ruling

New Zealand judge upholds Kim Dotcom extradition ruling..

20-Feb, 00:45

A New Zealand judge on Monday upheld an earlier court ruling that...

Yeo Yoo Man Man Episode 3322

Yeo Yoo Man Man Episode 3322..

17-Feb, 22:53

The following Yeo Yoo Man Man Episode 3322 English Sub has been released....