Saturday, November 01, 2014

Amur Leopard - Columbus Zoo

Today we made a family trip to the Columbus Zoo.  For me, it was the first in a few months, since we visited the new Africa area.  Being a cold, blustery November day, we checked out the indoor exhibits.  Rarely do we ever go inside the Asia quest area.  To my surprise, we found two Amur leopards (Panthera pardus orientalis) in an area formerly occupied by sun bears.  I wasn't familiar with the leopard species, which is extremely rare in the wild.  According to the World Wildlife Fund, only 30 or so individuals still exist in far east Russia.  They apparently share a home with the Amur tiger in the Primorye region of Russia.  My guess is that these cats are familiar with one of our nasty invasive species, the Amur honeysuckle.  If you're looking for an exciting read this winter, and want to learn more about the Amur region and its tigers, take a look at John Vaillant's "The Tiger".  It's quite a riveting natural history read.


1 comment:

  1. My husband and I visit the Columbus Zoo often and love it. Our favorite animals are the 2 Amur Leopards. They are beautiful, like your picture depicts! I did inquire if they are ever allowed out of the concrete den they are in and found out they are not. I thought they were occasionally swapped out with the sun bear exhibit, which is really nice, but I was wrong. To us, this is disturbing. The two leopards pace back and forth and always look so bored. They also sit by the window and look out at the sun bear exhibit, which is complete with a waterfall. They deserve to enjoy an outside natural habitat of their own like every other animal in the Zoo.