Meet Thrigby Hall’s adorable new Amur leopard cubs
- Credit: Nick Butcher
With winter upon us many people will be paying visits to the doctors for annual flu jabs.
This was no different for some new arrivals at Thirgby Hall Wildlife Gardens near Great Yarmouth, as three fearsome felines received their very first vacinations.
Three Amur leopards have been born at the attraction, to proud parents Korea and Skodje, and on Monday they were handled for the first time.
Vets from Acle Anchorage Veterinary Hospital visited to zoo, where they sexed, vaccinated and health checked the cubs, all of which were discovered to be females.
Scott Bird, zoo director at Thrigby, said: “We are privileged to host these critically endangered cats and to make a contribution to their conservation.
“It is the first time in more than 10 years we have successfully bred Amur leopards, so we are absolutely thrilled.”
The cubs, who arrived in October, were born to mother Korea, who was born in Prague in 2013. Father Skodje was born in Berlin in 2005.
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Mr Bird added: “We’re particualrly delighted to have three females born at the zoo. To be able to breed three females is spectacular.
“There is also a chance a generation on from then could be released to the wild, which would be an amazing thing to be able to do.
“They are all in very good health and are a reasonable weight.”
The leopards are classified by the International Union for COnservation of Nature as critically endangered, due to low numbers in the wild and increasing human pressure on their habitat.
In the wild, they live in the temperate forests of Asia, in places such as Southwest Primorye, Far Eastern Russian, north east China and North Korea.
There are around 80 individuals estimated to be in the wild, but it is the only big cat with approval for a reintroduction programme using captive bred animals.
Korea and Skodje arrived at Thrigby Hall as part of an international breeding programme, co-ordinated by Jo Cook of Zoological Society London.
Thrigby Hall keepers Jenny Moll and Lewis Colborn assisted the vets in handling the trio of cubs.