Meet Valera the leopard

Meet Valera the leopard

5 December 2014

Valera (code name Leo 15M), a young Far Eastern leopard, has been monitored by researchers since 2012. He was named after legendary Soviet ice hockey player Valery Kharlamov by fans of Primorye’s Admiral hockey team.


An inquisitive creature, Valera does not avoid camera traps unlike many leopards. On the contrary, he enjoys posing for a camera, proudly displaying his spotted sides. This is extremely valuable as leopards are easily identified by their unique spot pattern.


Seven traps took 27 photos of Valera last year. Now that he has expanded his hunting grounds, the archives of Land of the Leopard National Park contain over 300 snapshots of him. A series of last year’s photos shows him with his mate, code-named Leo 16F.


A leopard given the name Simba this year by Yury Trutnev, the presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, hunts close by in the central area of the park. The two males don’t clash thanks to the abundant prey in the park.