Endangered leopard born at Denver Zoo

Endangered leopard born at Denver Zoo
All About Animals

POSTED: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - 12:30pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - 12:34pm

A critically endangered Amur leopard cub was born at the Denver Zoo recently.

The male, named Makar, is almost two months old. He was born on April 25. He's also the first of his species born at the Denver Zoo since 1996.

The zoo's veterinarians just gave the go ahead for him to be moved into the Feline Building where the public can now see him.

Makar's mother is Dazma, who came to the Denver Zoo from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Co9lorado Springs in 2004. Dad is Hari-Kari who came to Denver in 2005 from the El Paso, Texas Zoo.

"The two were paired under recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan which ensures healthy populations and genetic diversity among zoo animals. Fortunately, the couple has proved to be an excellent match," says Denver Zoo spokesman Sean Andersen-Vie.

Amur leopards are named after the Amur region along the Chinese-Russian border. They're nearly extinct in the wild and found in a small section in Eastern Russia. Experts believe fewer than 40 Amur leopards remain in the wild.

They live further north than any other leopard species and have adapted to live in cold, snowy weather.

Their fur is longer and more pale than other leopards. In winter, it can grow to three inches long. They have long legs to maneuver in deep snow and they're outstanding climbers that can leap 10 feet into the air.

"Adult male Amur leopards can grow to weigh about 120 pounds and measure up to two-and-a half-feet tall at the shoulder and eight or nine-feet-long from head to tail," Andersen-Vie says.

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