Leopard cubs vaccinated
Veterinarians vaccinated the kittens from infectious diseases that can be contracted while they live in captivity in the pens. They also determined that one of the kittens is female, and the other one is male.
“They have never met humans before. Staff of the breeding center monitor their life only through video cameras located in the pens, and do not approach the animals, so that they don’t get used to interaction with people”, said Sergey Donskoy, minister of natural resources and environment of the Russian Federation. “The birth of these animals in captivity is a big even, an achievement of the Russian scientists”.
“These kittens will become the founders of a new leopard population in the Russian Caucasus mountains”, says Natalia Dronova, WWF-Russia biodiversity coordinator. “We hope that after the leopard cubs have been successfully prepared for independent life in the wild, they wll be released in the Kavkazsky biosphere reserve”.
The parents of the kittens – Zadig and Andrea – arrived to the national park from the Lisbon Zoo. The transportation was organized by WWF, Transaero airlines, and the Lisbon Zoo.
Two other kittens, born to a different pair of leopards in the same center one month later, will also be vaccinated this fall.
In the 20th century, the leopard disappeared from the Russian Caucasus because of humans, mostly due to poaching. The Persian Leopard Reintroduction Program is run by the Ministry of natural resources and environment of the Russian Federation with participation of the Sochi National Park, Caucasus Nature Reserve, A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, WWF and Moscow Zoo.
This year, Panasonic supported the Persian Leopard Restoration Program in the Russian Caucasus, by donating 1 million rubles (over 30 thousand US dollars).