DENVER — The Denver Zoo is welcoming a new leopard cub to its feline family. The little one happens to be one of the most endangered cats in the world.
The cub’s name is Sochi, named after the Russian city that is hosting the Winter Olympics next month.
Sochi is a critically endangered Amur leopard.
The tiny leopard was born December 3. After spending time bonding with his mother, Dazma, Sochi can now be spotted by zoo guests inside the zoo’s Feline Building.
From the Denver Zoo:
“Amur leopards take their name from the Amur region in eastern Russia. Once found from South Korea to north of the China-Russia border, they are now nearly extinct in the wild due to poaching for fur, loss of habitat and trophy hunting. In fact, Amur leopards are considered the most endangered cats on the planet. Though there are differing reports about just how many of them remain in the wild, the largest estimation is less than 50 individuals, compared to 96 in North American zoos. In 1989, when Denver Zoo’s first Amur leopard, Galax, arrived; there were still less than 50 in the wild and only 10 in North American zoos.”