We’ve Spotted a Star

Thursday, October 4, 2018

We’ve Spotted a Star

If you haven’t heard, we’ve got a new king of the Zoo (at least he thinks so). We’re excited to finally reveal the refurbished and expanded habitat—now home to Temur, an Amur leopard.

Temur, our new Amur leopard.

Temur is a two-year old male who was born at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. He arrived in the spring but has been living behind-the-scenes as we completed habitat upgrades. Temur’s animal care team has been bonding with him throughout the summer, describing him as an easy-going and confident cat. Though Amur leopards are solitary in their natural habitat, Temur is quite playful and entertains himself with enrichment items.

Our animal care team also works daily to improve voluntary training behaviors. These behaviors are not tricks; they provide animals a chance to stimulate their brain and are used to ease veterinary procedures (such as standing or opening his mouth to allow veterinary staff to take a look.) Though animals have the option of participating, Temur is typically more than willing to work for a few extra treats!

Veterinary staff has examined him and verified he is a healthy, strong and growing young cat. He currently weighs 95-pounds and stretches out to be around seven-feet-long from head to tail, though he is still expected to grow as he matures.

Amur leopard are critically endangered. There are a total of 215 individual animals in human care throughout 95 global institutions—82 of which are living in the United States. Their native habitat spans from southern Russia to northern China, though it is believed fewer than seventy are left in nature.

Amur leopard in its natural habitat. Image courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Though these are one of the most rare cats in the world, we’re no stranger to caring for them! We were home to a pair until 2014 and are thrilled to welcome this species back to the Zoo. As an institution accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, we continuously work throughout the network on global conservation efforts of threatened and endangered species. With the addition of Temur as part of the Zoo family, we’re proud to be part of the effort to bring these beauties back from the brink of extinction!

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