A Sri Lankan leapord was born in our park! The young predator has successfully passed the first critical phrase of its life. Now there are 58 Sri Lankan leopards in Europa: 27 males, 30 females and the brand new Arnhem addition.
We have a successful history of breeding the endangered Sri Lankan leopard. Zookeepers and biologists were able to determine the due date based on experience and statistical data. Even so, the 12-year-old female kept the team in the dark for a long time, and only in the last days before giving birth did our team notice subtle changes in her behaviour.
Mother and cub are being left alone as much as possible and are allowed to decide for themselves when it is time to leave the safety and shelter of the nursery. Humans will handle the cub for the first time when it is six weeks old to vaccinate it against Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) and cat flu and deworm it. This is also when the zookeepers find out the cub's gender.
Although the Sri Lankan leopard is an endangered species in the wild, and experts estimate that less than a thousand animals are left in Sri Lanka, the future of the European zoo population looks bright. Breeding is going well, and with an eye to the future, there has been plenty of growth in population in recent years. So much so that several animals have already been provided with contraceptives.
See here footage of the birth of the Sri Lankan leopard
The panther cub in the photo is of a cub from an earlier litter.