Two Persian Leopard Cubs Born, First in Fifty Years
Ok, so the title of the article doesn't quite tell the whole story... it should read that the first cubs have been born in 50 years in a Russian national park. The cubs have been produced as part of a breeding program to reintroduce the endangered big cats back into the wild. And where did the parents for this breeding program come from? The Lisbon Zoo!
Reintroduction programs aren't as common as we wish they are, and they are seldom taking place with large carnivores. Breeding big cats and bears in captivity is easy. Finding a suitable habitat to release them into (one that isn't already at carrying capacity), getting the support of local players (government, residents, etc), and preparing the zoo-borns for life in the wild is a far greater challenge.
Congrats to all parties concerned on his historic event. Hopefully, from the Persians in the Southwest to the Amurs in the Far East, Russia will once again be leopard country!