APR 23, 2017 7:04 AM PDT

Wildlife Park to Attempt Breeding 'Off-Show' Amur Leopards for Wild Release

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

In Scotland, the Highland Wildlife Park has built a new enclosure that will soon be home to a uniquely elusive animal species known as the Amur leopard.

While as many as 173 of these creatures can be found in public zoos around the world, only about 70 are believed to remain in the wild today. They’re recognized by the World Wildlife Fund as a critically endangered species, and unless we do something about that fast, they could one day be wiped out completey.

Arina is one of the Amur leopards that will be placed in the breeding enclosure.

Image Credit: Jan Morse via BBC

The Highland Wildlife Park is working closely with the Royal Zoological Society in an addtempt to use the new enclosure, which is kept hidden away from park visitors, to breed the creatures and then slowly release them into the wild in Russia with the hopes of increasing their wild populations.

Related: Hundreds of snow leopard killings each year go undetected

Because the enclosure is large and secluded from human contact inside of a dedicated portion of the wildlife park, those involved hope the creatures that grow up inside will be less dependent on humans and will be prepared for their eventual wild release.

Two Amur leopards are already scheduled to meet one another inside the enclosure soon: a male named Freddo who hails from Tallinn Zoo in Estonia, and a female named Arina who hails from Twycross Zoo in the midlands. Each are reportedly the same age, having been born in 2014.

Assuming they find each other attractive enough to mate sometime this year, the park could be adding Amur leopards to the wild population as soon as next year. On the other hand, there’s no telling what kind of a waiting game park officials will have to play to pull this off successfully.

While it’s a good concept on paper, breeding animals isn’t always a simple task. In numerous cases around the world, breeding attempts can fail because the stamina of the animal simply isn’t there or they don’t find each other attractive as mates. This was an ongoing problem with the elusive Sumatran rhino species in particular.

Regardless, the park really has nothing to lose from trying, as the park wasn’t responsible for paying for the massive enclosure. An anonymous donation reportedly paid for it to be built.

Source: BBC

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 24, 2019
Cell & Molecular Biology
NOV 24, 2019
How Nature Creates a Multitude of Leaf Shapes
Different plants exhibit leaves with very diverse shapes, and now scientists know how nature does it....
NOV 24, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
NOV 24, 2019
Plants Moved to Land by Stealing Genes from Soil Bacteria
Algae were the first pants on earth, and they lived underwater. How they managed to move onto land was largely a mystery, until now. By studying the genome...
DEC 08, 2019
Earth & The Environment
DEC 08, 2019
Oilseed rape crops thrive under climate change
Research published recently in Current Biology points towards at least one upside of climate change: some agricultural crops will have longer growing seaso...
DEC 25, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
DEC 25, 2019
Perfect for Urban Farming: Gene-Edited Tomatoes that Grow like Grapes
A team of researchers from New York’s Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have created a new strain of tomatoes that can grow from bushes rather than vines...
JAN 12, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
JAN 12, 2020
Water Lily Genome Provides Insight Into Flowering Plant Evolution
The genomic sequence of an ancient flowering plant, the water lily Nymphaea colorata, has been revealed....
JAN 21, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 21, 2020
After Hibernation, These Grizzlies Turn to Clams for Nourishment
Grizzly bears spend up to seven Wintery months hibernating, and in that time, they can lose a substantial amount of their body weight. While surrounding ma...
Loading Comments...