Sedgwick County Zoo staff is caring for a 7-week-old Amur leopard cub after two of his siblings died.
Three cubs were born on May 27 at the Sedgwick County Zoo to 15-year-old Diesel and 7-year-old Emerald, a first-time mother. The cubs were taken to the intensive care unit at the zoo’s animal hospital after Emerald “was not interested in caring for them,” according to a new release from the zoo.
“Two of the three cubs had sustained unintentional injuries while still under the care of the inexperienced mother,” the news release said.
The injured cubs later died, but a third cub, a male, survived. He now is thriving, the news release said. He weighs 6 pounds and is starting to eat solid foods.
“He is also beginning to explore the outdoor areas of the hospital’s small animal ward,” according to the zoo.
The cub will likely stay in the hospital for some time. The zoo is working with the leopard’s species survival plan to determine where he could be sent.
Species survival plans try to bolster the populations of certain threatened and endangered species in zoos and aquariums around North America. It’s unclear when the cub could be moved to another facility.
“We’re still trying to figure that out at this point,” zoo spokeswoman Melissa Graham said.
Amur leopards are critically endangered, with only several dozen in wild habitats in northeastern China and far eastern Russia.
“With such a small population left, the loss of each Amur leopard puts the species at greater risk of extinction,” according to the World Wildlife Fund.
Over 200 Amur leopards live under human supervision across North America, Europe and Russia, according to the news release.