It’s always an extraordinary occasion when new animal offspring come into the world, particularly when they belong to an endangered species. Each new addition plays a crucial role in safeguarding the species’ survival for future generations.
In recent news, a zoo shared the exciting news of the arrival of two Amur leopards – a critically endangered species recognized as the rarest large cats on Earth.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, recently revealed that their 9-year-old Amur leopard named Anya became a mother for the first time, giving birth to a set of twins shortly after Mother’s Day.
As stated in an official statement, the cubs are already adorned with their characteristic black spots, and their preferred activities include “snuggling, nursing, and wriggling.” At a weight of two pounds, they both fall within the average range for their species.
With their eyes still closed, they remain vulnerable during their initial weeks, making it a delicate period. However, Anya, the mother, exhibits exceptional love and protection towards her newborns, establishing a strong bond.
“Imagine nursing your first baby while experiencing contractions for your second,” remarked Rebecca Zwicker, the animal care manager in Asian Highlands. “I believe Anya is truly extraordinary. She appears confident and at ease with her cubs, and we are overjoyed for her and her offspring. I am immensely proud of our animal care team and their dedication to Anya and the future of the Amur leopard species.”
“It never fails to amaze me when a first-time mother embraces her role as naturally as Anya,” Zwicker remarked. “She demonstrates patience and attentiveness as a mother. She always knows the whereabouts of her babies. There’s a great deal of cuddling, grooming, nursing, and cleaning happening, and we’re observing Anya taking time to groom and care for herself, which is equally important.”
The father of the cubs is Anadyr, a 7-year-old, following the pairing recommendation by the Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP) in 2019. The zoo clarified that Anadyr will not actively participate in parenting the cubs, which is typical for males of this species.
The birth of the cubs signifies a momentous occasion for the zoo, as it is the first Amur leopard birth in two decades and a significant stride towards the preservation of the species.
The Amur leopard, classified as critically endangered, is believed by WWF to be the most rare cat species globally, with a mere 120 adults remaining in the wild. They face grave threats from illegal poaching, climate change, habitat loss, and deforestation.
Remarkably, the press release highlights that the zoo’s four leopards now represent a noteworthy four percent of the species’ wild population, underscoring their rarity. These newborns instill hope for the species and serve as an inspiration to people everywhere.
“The lively little ones may not be aware of the impact they have made on the future of their species, but we certainly are, and it attests to the longstanding dedication to the Amur Leopard SSP,” states the zoo’s press release.
A heartwarming video shared by the zoo captures the one-week-old cubs snuggling closely with their affectionate mother.
What beautiful Amur leopard cubs, and what incredible news for this critically endangered species!
Please share this amazing news if you love animals! ❤️🐾
Rewritten Source: https://www.theanimalclub.net/cats/zoo-celebrates-birth-of-critically-endangered-amur-leopard-cubs-rarest-cat-species-in-the-world/