Order: Carnivora - felines, canines, bears, raccoons, mustelids, seals
Family: Felidae - cats
Scientific Name: Panthera pardus orientalis
The dorsal portion of the amur leopard’s coat is cream colored, and covered with large, widely spaced rosettes. The belly is whiter with dark rosettes. The amur leopards beautiful coat has adapted for survival in varying conditions. During summer months the length of the hair is 1in. (2.5cm.). As winter nears the shorter pelt is replaced by 3 in. (7.5cm.) hairs for better insulation. Females can weigh between 60-100lbs., with males reaching 90-150lbs. The legs on this species are longer than most other leopards. The increased length is probably an adaptation for living in snowy winter conditions.
Home Range: Amur River Valley (China-Russia); Ussuri River Valley (China-North Korea)
Habitat Type: Boreal Forests
Reproduction: Gestation lasts 90-105 days and results in an average litter of 2-3 cubs. The cubs eyes open at 10 days, they are weaned at 3 months of age, leave their mother at 1.5 to 2 years, and become sexually mature at 3 years.
Diet in the Wild: Deer.
Diet in the Zoo: Triple A brand meat; a bone on “fast days”.
General Information: With a 20ft. horizontal leap, a 10ft. vertical bound, and sharp claws this leopard is well adapted for climbing trees. It is through these adaptations that the leopard will occasionally haul its prey to a nearby tree so that it may eat in peace, or save a portion for another meal. Once the cat decides to leave the tree it is capable of descending head first. Although the leopard is capable of swimming, it is not particularly fond of water. Such strong legs have enabled this cat to reach top speeds of 37mph. Primarily nocturnal, and socially solitary Amur leopards can be found together during breeding and rearing season.
Conservation Status: Currently this leopard is in great danger of becoming extinct in the wild. Due to logging, poaching for pelts, and the loss of prey species the wild population has plummeted to roughly 50 individuals with about 200 in captivity. The amur leopard can be found on the IUCN critically endangered Red List due to habitat destruction, and Appendix I Species under CITES.