Leopard injured by poachers may be released into the wild

Leopard injured by poachers may be released into the wild

6 August 2015

A leopard which was found in June with an injured paw on the Russia-China border is recovering well and soon might be released into the wild. He is currently being watched by experts at the Centre for the Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals. If the caretakers decide that the animal is ready to live in the wild, he will be released in spring 2016.


The male cub of the world’s rarest big feline was found in Land of the Leopard National Park in June 2015. The leopard lost three toes after falling into a poacher’s trap. He underwent surgery and in early July was moved from a cramped cage to a spacious open-air enclosure.


The injured leopard cub had never been captured by trail cameras in Russia before, and scientists assigned the animal a unique sequential number, Leo 80M, where "M" stands for "male" and 80, for its number in the database.


As of now, the spotted predator is successfully hunting rabbits and deer, which are released into his enclosure. Caretakers are watching his behaviour in conditions that are close to natural to make a decision on his release into the wild. All surveillance is conducted via video cameras so that the cub does not get used to humans. Only then will Leo 80M be safe in his natural habitat.