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Glancer Magazine

A NEW CAT IN TOWN | Amur Leopard Makes New Home at Brookfield Zoo


BROOKFIELD–There’s a new cat in town. Mina (pronounced Mee-nah), a 2-year-old Amur leopard, arrived at Brookfield Zoo this fall from an accredited zoo in New York. Since her arrival, she has been getting acclimated to her off-exhibit space as well as the animal care staff. Recently, she was given access to her outdoor habitat, where guests can now see her during the morning and early afternoon hours every other day. She has a few physical features that distinguish her from the zoo’s two other Amur leopards—Lisa and Sasha. Mina’s tail is longer than Lisa’s, and it does not have the distinctive curl guests can see at the end of Sasha’s tail. She also has white toes on her back left paw and a small notch missing from the top of her left ear.

Although it won’t be until early 2023, Mina will eventually be paired with Sasha, who is nearly 2 years old. The pairing of the two adults is based on a recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP). An SSP is a cooperative population management and conservation program for select species in accredited North American zoos and aquariums. Each plan manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

The Amur leopard is critically endangered with less than 100 individuals left in the wild. Threats to the species include illegal wildlife trading, habitat loss and fragmentation due to deforestation, climate change, and retribution hunting. The Amur leopard’s entire estimated range is about 965 square miles. Today, the species can only be found in the border areas between the Russian Far East and northeast China. They are the northernmost subspecies of leopard in the world and are often mistaken for snow leopards. Amur leopards live in temperate forests with cold winters and hot summers, and typically rest in trees and dense vegetation or among the rocks during the day.


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