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Emma: Female, born on June 30, 2002 at the Erie Zoological Gardens. She arrived at the Zoo from the Binghamton Zoo in New York on May 30, 2012
Kavan: Male, born on April 3, 2001 at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado. He arrived at the Zoo on July 31, 2012.
Emma and Kavan have been given a recommendation to breed by the AZA Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan.
The Amur leopards in First Niagara Big Cat Falls take turns with the snow leopards. See if you can identify which leopards are on exhibit.
First Niagara Big Cat Falls
An Amur leopard’s fur is reddish-yellow in the summer and becomes lighter in the winter to blend in with the snow. The hairs of their pelt also change length from summer 0.5 inches(1.3 cm) - 2 inches (5.1 cm). In the winter season the length of their pelt is 3 inches (7.6 cm) in order to keep them warm. They have long legs which allow them to walk through the snow easily.Can you tell a jaguar, snow leopard and Amur leopard apart? All of them have spots, but an Amur leopard’s spots are widely spaced rosettes with thick borders.
The lifespan of an Amur leopard is 17 years.
Amur leopards reach sexual maturity at the age of 3. Breeding season is between January and February. The mother carries the babies for approximately 90-105 days. An average of one to six cub is born per litter. The cubs are weaned at 3 months, but remain with their mother until they are between 18-24 months old.
As with most cats, Amur leopards are solitary. In the wild, they hunt and eat alone. They are also primarily nocturnal so they may be less active when you see them at the Zoo during the day.
At First Niagara Big Cat Falls, you’ll notice the mesh at the top of the exhibit. There is a good reason for that! Amur leopards are very good climbers and will descend headfirst down a tree. They can leap 20 feet (609 cm) horizontally and 10 feet (304 cm) vertically. Amur leopards are also strong swimmers.
On the 2011 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the Amur leopard is listed as Critically Endangered.
To learn more about the conservation efforts at the Philadelphia Zoo, click here.
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