News Release
 
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351, sondra.katzen@czs.org                                                                            
July 17, 2018
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Note: Images of the Amur leopard cubs may be downloaded below:
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Amur Leopard Cubs Make Public Debut at Brookfield Zoo
           
            Brookfield, Ill. –Two 3-month old male Amur leopard cubs made their public debut at Brookfield Zoo today, July 17. The cubs, named Samson and Jilin (pronounced GEE-lin), were born on April 18. Up until now, the two had been behind the scenes bonding with their 7-year-old mom, Lisa. Currently, guests can see them during morning hours in their outdoor habitat located on the west side of Big Cats. As they get more acclimated to their new environment, they will be viewable throughout the day.
            Lisa and the sire, 8-year-old Kasha, were introduced back in 2015, and are also the parents of another male offspring named Temur 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. This SSP is especially important, because they are 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.
            Amur leopards’ native 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 (one of the cubs is named after this region). 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.
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About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities 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.
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MEDIA CONTACT:

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

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