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Amur leopard cubs are back at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Posted at 7:48 PM, May 19, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO — The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is welcoming back Amur leopard cubs! The two cubs were born on Wednesday, marking the first time in almost 20 years that Amur leopard cubs were born at the zoo.

Anya, a nine year old critically endangered Amur leopard, became a first-time mom, according to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. The cubs are covered in black spots, and weigh about two pounds each.

“Imagine nursing your first baby while having contractions for your second,” said Rebecca Zwicker, animal care manager in Asian Highlands. “I think Anya is absolutely incredible. She looks confident and comfortable with the cubs, and we’re elated for her and her babies. I’m so proud of our animal care team and their commitment to Anya and the future of the Amur leopard species."

Only around 100 Amur leopards are left in the world, and they are known as the rarest big cat on the planet. The zoo now has four Amur leopards, which represent 4% of the Amur leopard's population.

“It always amazes me when a first-time mom embraces the role as naturally as Anya has,” said Zwicker. “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.”

Anadyr, who is seven years old, is the dad of the two cubs. He will not have a parenting role for the cubs, which is normal for Amur leopards.

The sexes of the cubs and their names will happen in approximately 30 days.

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