Dartmoor Zoo has proudly announced the arrival of an Amur Leopard, the rarest cat species globally named Freddo. This critically endangered animal, whose name means ‘cold’ in a nod to its natural, chilly habitat, has recently been transferred to Dartmoor Zoo from Bellewaerde in Belgium. With fewer than 100 of its kind in the wild, the Amur Leopard is on the brink of extinction.
Benjamin Mee, the CEO of Dartmoor Zoo, expressed:
“Freddo, though born in captivity, plays a crucial role in conserving and educating people about his species. Our plans include finding a compatible female for breeding purposes to enhance the species’ genetic diversity. Facing threats like poaching and habitat destruction, we’re proud to contribute to global efforts in saving the Amur Leopard from extinction.”
Scott Chambers, Dartmoor Zoo’s Curator, added:
“In designing Freddo’s living space, we aimed to recreate a segment of Siberia. All elements, including Siberian Elms, Larches, Boxwoods, and a Flowering Cherry tree, mimic a mountainous forest, facilitating Freddo’s adaptation and movement. This relocation, advised by the European Endangered Programme (EEP), promotes genetic variation in breeding. Our goal is to find a female companion for Freddo, continuing the collective work of zoos worldwide in preserving this near-extinct species. Zoos have been instrumental in increasing the population from a critical 20-30 to about 100 in the wild and over 200 in captivity.”
Visitors can view Freddo’s enclosure starting Sunday, 26th November!
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