School students in Slavyanka give leopard a ‘spotted’ name

School students in Slavyanka give leopard a ‘spotted’ name

30 September 2014

Students from secondary school No 2 in the village of Slavyanka, Primorye Territory, the winners of the Leopard Land Talents Fair held as part of the Leopard Day celebrations, have chosen the name for a young leopard, Leo 9, whose gender is yet unknown.


The animal now bears the name Denekli, which sounds very similar to the word for “spotted” in Turkish.


According to Svetlana Kopytova, a biology teacher, the opportunity to name the leopard provoked much interest in the animal among students, who felt a certain responsibility for the animal’s life.


“We spent a week choosing the name for the leopard,” Kopytova says. “We had a list of names, but in the end, we decided to pick one of the words for ‘spotted’ in different languages. Most students voted for the Turkish word Denekli. They said that if the animal is male, it will be called Den for short, and Dena if it is a female.”


Leo 9 is now two years old. The animal was first spotted by a trail camera in the central part of Leopard Land National Park in 2013 together with his mother and another cub. Now the leopard has grown into a rather independent animal. In early 2014, the park staff saw the leopard again in the photos taken by trail cameras.


The contest to pick names for seven spotted animals, Leopard Keeper, started 15 July, 2014. The right to give a name to one of the world’s rarest wild cats will be given to seven people or organisations that prove their contribution to the animal’s protection.