Casanova finds a new home beyond the Trans-Siberian Railway

Casanova finds a new home beyond the Trans-Siberian Railway

27 September 2022

Casanova, the Far Eastern leopard first spotted in late 2021 after moving east and crossing the Trans-Siberian Railway, has settled into a new habitat, according to eyewitnesses and photo monitoring.   


In late 2021, a male leopard was spotted by trail cameras installed by wildlife photographer Igor Metelsky and WWF Russia. Jointly with the Tiger Centre, WWF Russia monitors wild animals at the Severnaya hunting farm in the Nadezhdinsky District of the Primorye Territory. The footage made a splash, given the fact that the spotted cats disappeared from this area 50 years ago. The only leopard population nucleus is in Land of the Leopard National Park, 40 kilometres away from the place where the animal was sighted. The leopard has been registered as Leo 224M under the name of Casanova, which is Italian for “new house.”


New footage of Casanova near the Severnaya hunting farm shows that the male leopard is happy in his new habitat far away from the national park.    


“By all appearances, he is satisfied with the food supply and protection this territory offers. Besides, he still has no rival leopards here, while tigers are few and far between. So, evidently, he sees no sense in moving elsewhere,” said Dina Matyukhina, senior research fellow at Land of the Leopard.  


The expansion of Far Eastern leopard habitats gives hope that over time other leopards will be able to reach the Ussuri Nature Reserve in the same way. The reserve has been managed by Land of the Leopard since 2021, and is seen as a territory where the rare cats will primarily head for new habitats.







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