Zoo celebrates birth of rare twin leopard cubs

The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two twin leopard cubs.
The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two twin leopard cubs.(San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance)
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 4:45 PM EDT
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SAN DIEGO (Gray News) - The San Diego Zoo recently welcomed two rare twin Amur leopards.

Officials with the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance called the twins’ birth exceptional and significant as the species is one of the world’s most endangered.

According to the zoo, there are less than 300 of the big cats in existence worldwide.

“Witnessing the birth of Amur leopards is always an emotional experience,” said Gaylene Thomas, wildlife care manager at the San Diego Zoo. “There are so few of them left in their native habitat that every birth carries so much weight and every living individual promises a glimmer of hope.”

The yet-to-be-named cubs were born several weeks ago and animal caretakers said they have been monitoring their development while they bond with their mother, Satka.

Zoo team members said the twin cubs have recently emerged from their birthing den, allowing some guests to get a first glimpse of the tiny cats.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the progress made by the cubs,” Thomas said. “They have grown so much and have already started showcasing their unique personalities.”

The team said the twins appear to be healthy and will get their first full veterinary exam soon.

According to officials, the cubs were born as part of a breeding recommendation through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan.