The female leopard hit by a car in the Primorye Territory found alive

The female leopard hit by a car in the Primorye Territory found alive

15 December 2017

Land of the Leopard researchers retrieved images of female leopard Leo 8F (Killy) during the latest check of trail cameras. The leopardess was hit by a car in July 2016 and her fate remained unknown until recently.


The road incident involving the rare cat occurred on the Razdolnoye—Khasan motorway, near the national park border. It was a hit and run. Witnesses concerned about the animal reported the incident to the national park staff. After the accident, the leopardess lay still on the road for a while. Some time later she regained consciousness and disappeared into the forest. Search for Killy was unsuccessful and it was impossible to assess the gravity of her injuries from the witnesses’ photos.


Killy was not spotted by trail cameras for a year. But a true miracle happened at the end of 2017. Among a thousand of images the researchers discovered photos of the injured cat. She was identified by the unique spot pattern. The leopardess looked healthy, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. There is no trace of her injuries.


“Despite the fact that the Far Eastern leopard population is growing, their number is still extremely low. Losing even one animal is a threat to the population. Therefore, finding Killy alive and unharmed was truly sensational. It was indeed the main discovery of the year,” Tatyana Baranovskaya, director of Land of the Leopard, said.


Killy is about four years old. She was named by French Alpine skier Jean-Claude Killy, an honourary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The three-time Olympic champion became her keeper in 2014. Killy is Nerussa’s cub.