Amur Leopard Cub Makes Grand Debut in Denver

Amur Leopard Cub
Courtesy of the Denver Zoo

Celebrations are in order at the Denver Zoo! Makar, an Amur leopard cub born on April 25 recently received a clean bill of health from zoo veterinarians and is now ready to be seen by his soon-to-be adoring public.

Many of us think of leopards as an animal that inhabits warm parts of the world, but Amur leopards actually prefer to live in cold, snowy climates. The nearly extinct species originated in the Amur region along the China-Russian border.

So, how did the wild cat adapt to such a harsh climate? The Amur's gorgeous spotted fur is longer than most other leopards and the cat also has taller legs, which help him travel through deep snow while he searches for prey.

Amur leopards are also physically equipped to be impressive hunters. The animal can leap an astounding 10 feet in the air to catch his dinner. Plus, if other animals are vying for his prey, he can drag a creature up to 3 times his weight up a tree.

It’s hard to imagine little Makar performing such a feat, but we do hope he'll have plenty of opportunities to stalk around in the snow this winter--even if it is just to play.

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