Several videos of mom and cubs were released by Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and can be viewed in the video player above and throughout this article.
(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (CMZoo) welcomed two critically endangered Amur leopard cubs on Wednesday, May 17. According to CMZoo, “Three days after Mother’s Day, Anya, a 9-year-old critically endangered Amur leopard became a first-time mom.”
“The little ones are covered in black spots and their favorite activities seem to be snuggling, nursing, and wriggling. They look to be about average size for a leopard cub – around 2 pounds. For the first week or so, they’re pretty vulnerable with closed eyes, but they’re in good paws with Anya,” wrote CMZoo.
According to CMZoo, Amur leopards are widely known as the rarest big cats on the planet. The zoo says with the addition of the two cubs born on Wednesday, CMZoo is now home to four Amur leopards which represent 4% of the wild population.
CMZoo said the cubs’ Dad, 7-year-old Anadyr, will not have an active parenting role which is normal for male Amur leopards. As for Mom, the zoo said Anya and the cubs are bonding well.
“It always amazes me when a first-time mom embraces the role as naturally as Anya has,” said Rebecca Zwicker, Animal Care Manager in Asian Highlands. “She’s a patient and attentive mom. She knows where those babies are at all times. There’s a lot of cuddling, grooming, nursing, and cleaning going on, and we’re seeing Anya take time to groom and care for herself, which is equally important.”
The zoo continues to watch the progress of the cubs through cameras and will continue to do so for about eight weeks as they continue to bond with their mom. The zoo said an announcement of when the public can see the cubs in Asian Highlands is forthcoming.
“The cubs’ sexes haven’t been identified and likely won’t be any time soon. There are no plans for names, in line with Zoo tradition to wait 30 days to name a baby,” wrote CMZoo.
CMZoo has been committed to the Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP) and accepted the risky breeding recommendation in 2019.
To learn more about CMZoo’s Amur Leopards and Amur Tigers, click on the link above.