Far Eastern leopards’ courtships caught on camera at Land of the Leopard

Far Eastern leopards’ courtships caught on camera at Land of the Leopard

22 July 2019

A trail camera at Land of the Leopard captured images that show two Far Eastern leopards — the male leopard Leo 111M and the female leopard Leo 108F — courting and mating. According to scientists, both leopards are not older than three years and it was likely their first time mating.


"Knowing the leopards' age and the time of their first mating, we can confirm that leopards reach sexual maturity in the wild at about 2.5‒3 years old. The success of the national park is evident. We are not only witnessing the growth of the Far Eastern leopard population by recording more and more cubs each year, but we can also see new couples forming," pointed out Yuri Darman (PhD in Biology), deputy director for research at Land of the Leopard.


Obtaining such data from the wild is an extremely rare occurrence that has great value for science. It also makes it possible to keep track of relations between certain leopards and even draw their family trees. Researchers from Land of the Leopard know the new pair's ancestry: the male's mother is Sochi (Leo 21F), and the female's mum is Umka (Leo 37F). Scientists also learned that the young male leopard Leo 111M had settled in an area where several female leopards live.


Far Eastern leopards can breed in any season. Their courtships last for about five days, after which they separate. Their gestation period is approximately 90 days. As a rule, leopards have litters of one to three cubs, and the mother takes care of her young.