News Release
 
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351, sondra.katzen@czs.org                                                                            
June 14, 2018
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Note: Images of the Amur leopard cubs may be downloaded below:
Amur Leopard Cub-1.jpg

Amur Leopard Cub-2.jpg
Amur leopard cubs-1 and -2: Two male Amur leopard cubs were born at Brookfield Zoo on April 18. Currently, they are behind the scenes bonding with their mom. They will be making their public debut in mid-July. The Amur leopard is critically endangered with less than 65 animals left in the wild. The biggest threats to these solitary animals are poaching; retribution hunting; a decrease in their habitat from fires, logging, and human settlement; and a decline in their prey. (credit: Cathy Bazzoni/Chicago Zoological Society)
Amur Leopard Cub-3.jpg
Amur leopard cub-3: Dr. Michael Adkesson, vice president of clinical medicine for the Chicago Zoological, examines one of two male Amur leopard cubs born at Brookfield Zoo on April 18. The cubs will make their public debut in mid-July. (credit: Cathy Bazzoni/Chicago Zoological Society)

Amur Leopard Cubs Born at Brookfield Zoo

     Brookfield, Ill. – The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, is thrilled to announce the birth of two male Amur leopard cubs. Born on April 18, the now 8 and 9 pound, 8-week-old cubs are doing well and bonding with their mom, Lisa, behind the scenes. It is anticipated they will be making their public debut to zoo guests in mid-July.

Lisa, 7, and the sire, Kasha, 8, were introduced back in 2015, and are also the parents of Temur, a 2-year-old male who was recently transferred to another accredited zoo. Both parents were brought to Brookfield Zoo in 2013—Lisa from Saint Louis Zoological Park, and Kasha from Le Parc des Felins in France—as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP). An SSP is a cooperative population management and conservation program for select species in accredited North American zoos and aquariums. Each plan manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

The Amur leopard is critically endangered with less than 65 animals left in the wild. To help the species, in 2013, an Amur Leopard Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) was convened under the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). The GSMP involves several regional zoo associations: the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in North America, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and the Eurasian Regional Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EARAZA). Through the GSMP, each of the participating organizations is able to maximize the genetic health, diversity, and sustainability of the managed population, which is important in the event a reintroduction plan is established. It has also been beneficial in sharing information and has increased greater cooperation between the regions in order to strengthen both in situ and ex situ conservation efforts for this species.

Currently, there are 82 Amur leopards in 42 accredited North American zoos. The work that Brookfield Zoo is doing and the successful birth of these two new cubs marks a crucial addition to the species population.

“We are all very excited about the births of our two Amur leopard cubs,” said Amy Roberts, senior curator of mammals for the Chicago Zoological Society. “It is our hope that guests will not only enjoy seeing these very charismatic cubs exploring and playing in their outdoor habitat, but will also gain an appreciation for the species and learn why conservation efforts are so important for this leopard.”

Amur leopards, known for their keen senses of hearing, vision, and smell, are a nocturnal species. Their range previously encompassed the Amur River basin and the mountains of northeastern China and the Korean peninsula. Today, they are found only in one isolated population in the Russian Far East, although there may be a few individuals in the Jilin Province of northeast China. They are the northernmost subspecies of leopard in the world and are often mistaken for snow leopards. Amur leopards live in temperate forests with cold winters and hot summers, and typically rest in trees and dense vegetation or among the rocks during the day. The biggest threats to these solitary animals are poaching; retribution hunting; a decrease in their habitat from fires, logging, and human settlement; and a decline in their prey.
 
#      #      #
 
About the Chicago Zoological Society:
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. Open every day of the year, the zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit CZS.org.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071
E-mail: Sondra.Katzen@CZS.org

Membership

Center for the Science of Animal Welfare

Read about our innovative practices in animal welfare to ensure the ultimate care of our individual animals.

Classes and Camps

Center for Conservation Leadership

We place a high priority on developing and supporting conservation leaders of all ages and backgrounds.

Membership

Visit Brookfield Zoo

Create extraordinary connections with animals and nature!

Animal Welfare

You Can Help!

Become our partner in caring for animals and in connecting people with wildlife and nature.