Rare Amur leopard cubs go on display at MN Zoo

11:09 AM, Sep 19, 2012   |    comments
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APPLE VALLEY, Minn. - Nearly four months after their birth, a pair of rare Amur leopard cubs are on display at the Minnesota Zoo.

The cubs have spent the last several months nursing, bonding with mom and building up their strength since their births May 29. Because this will be their first time on exhibit the quality of viewing opportunities for zoogoers may vary. The cubs can choose whether they want to wander around the exhibit or hunker down in the den.

Amur leopards are a part of a Species Survival Plan® (SSP) through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The purpose of the SSP is to ensure the sustainability of a healthy,
genetically diverse, and demographically stable population.

The cubs' mother Polina came to the Zoo in 2007 from
the Audubon Nature Institute in Louisiana. Their dad  Chobby came all the way from Olomouc Zoo in the Czech Republic in 2009.

"These births are significant not only because Amur leopards are critically endangered, but also because reintroduction from zoo-bred lineages is under consideration in Russia. The Minnesota Zoo's cubs are part of the global population that would be used for such a program," said Dr. Tara Harris, Director of Conservation at the Minnesota Zoo:

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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