An unnamed leopardess, Leo 63F, has been named Aurora after the Roman goddess of the dawn. The name was chosen by employees of the Far Eastern company Vostokcement, which became the rare wild cat’s keeper.
The leopardess is now around five years old. She inhabits the southern part of Land of the Leopard National Park on the border with China. Since being first sighted a couple of years ago, Aurora has often been spotted by camera traps on both sides of the border. But despite her “dual citizenship,” she prefers raising her cubs on Russian territory: early last year, the leopardess and her three-month-old cub were caught on camera in Land of the Leopard.
Earlier, Vostokcement took for its logo another wild cat sharing the same habitat with Far Eastern leopards — the Amur tiger. Both rare wild cats inhabit Land of the Leopard and are commonly regarded as the symbols of the Primorye Territory.
“In Russia, 2017 was proclaimed the Year of the Environment and the Year of Specially Protected Areas. And we, too, decided not to remain aloof, but to contribute to this cause. The tiger symbolises power and strength. The leopard means strategy, intelligence and agility. This wild cat brotherhood reflects the essence of our company. Those are very rare predators, and it is in our power to help them,” said Vladimir Pushkarev, Vostokcement CEO.
Leopard keepers are like “godparents” to the rare spotted predators. There are politicians, celebrities, organisations and even school students among them. The title of leopard keeper is awarded for making a personal contribution to preserving the Far Eastern leopard population. A keeper has the right to choose a name for his or her fosterling.