New addition to the family of Far Eastern leopards

New addition to the family of Far Eastern leopards

15 November 2013

The Leopard Land National Park employees used camera traps to capture video footage of a female leopard with three cubs.


Based on field experience and observations in zoos, many researchers routinely believe that female leopards give birth to three cubs rarely, and not all of them make it to adulthood. The camera captured six-month-old cubs, meaning that they did not die in infancy, which is good news. They will become full-fledged members of this rare wild cat population.


Snowy winters are always tough for these animals, but Leopard Land’s employees have made the proper preparations for the harsh winter and have bought the feed for the hoofed animals, the leopard’s prey of choice.


If it were not for the vigilant inspector from the Leopard Land security department who told researchers that he saw a leopard, and the ensuing actions taken by the research department’s employees, this footage would have been impossible.


Once they brought the camera trap film back to the lab, the researchers struggled to determine the exact number of cubs in the litter. Most videos showed just one or two of them. It took researchers a while to put over 200 videos (often suitable only for research purposes, since the quality of the black-and-white cam trap photos and videos is extremely poor, especially if they are made in the dark) together and only then they were able to come to a shared and weighted conclusion. The issue was finally settled after renowned animal photographer Valery Maleyev, who is currently shooting in Leopard Land, managed to capture the entire family on film. Soon, the Leopard Land photo archives will be replenished by camera trap photos and, most importantly, with new colorful professional photos of the cubs.