Moscow and Vladivostok unite for leopard flash mob

Moscow and Vladivostok unite for leopard flash mob

8 June 2015

The Return of the Leopard public action made 6 June a memorable day in Moscow and Vladivostok. Timed to coincide with World Environment Day, on which Russia also observes Environmentalist Day, the festivities included a pop concert, leopard-related contests and quizzes, the Leopard Path quest, and free feline face painting.


The celebrations in Moscow’s Sokolniki Park and the central square of Vladivostok kicked off at the same instant – 11 am in Moscow and 5 pm in Vladivostok. Staff experts of Land of the Leopard National Park and other prominent ecologists and environmentalists delivered a live talk to Muscovites via video about the recovery of the wild leopard population.


Rinat Gizatulin, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment, addressed the public in Moscow to highlight the contribution of the Far Eastern Leopards autonomous non-profit organisation to protecting this endangered species. Natalia Kolobova, director general of the Moscow Zoo, gave a brief talk about leopards at the zoo and their participation in the reintroduction programme that returns captive leopards to the wild.


But the highlight of the day was the huge flash mobs that formed leopard paw prints in the square in Vladivostok and the park in Moscow, symbolising unity in the effort to save the world’s rarest big cat. The organisers of the hours-long public action estimate the number of participants at 2,000 in Vladivostok and 7,000 in Moscow.


Leopard-related public actions are traditionally hosted by Primorye Territory, which is home to the endangered leopard. This was the first time Moscow joined the celebration. Activists expect other Russian cities to celebrate next year and beyond.