Atara - The Big Cat Sanctuary


Panthera Pardus Japonensis/North Chinese LeopardEndangered

Interesting facts about Atara

  • Atara was born at Tierpark in Berlin, Germany on 21st April 2007.
  • She arrived at The Big Cat Sanctuary in July 2008 at just over a year old.
  • Atara is truly stunning with the longest most beautiful whiskers of any cat at the Sanctuary.
  • In China, the North Chinese leopard is more often known as a “golden coin leopard" this comes from its black and golden spotted patterns that are similar to copper coins circulated in ancient China.
  • Atara is cat who is quick to be enticed by the prospect of a meaty treat on photography days.
  • Atara loves a new bed in her den area and is often found snuggling up indoors if she isn't busy exploring her surroundings.

Atara's story

Atara is petite cat, her physic is lighter and quite sleek. Her coat has stunningly beautiful rosettes and this look is completed with a very long tail and of course, those incredible whiskers. The longest whiskers of all the cats who live at the Sanctuary!

Confident and elegant Atara is always a keen participant on photography days, and she is a true model. There are many outstanding photographs of this cat which catch her personality and beauty perfectly.


About North Chinese leopards

The leopard makes up one of the five ‘big cats’ in the genus Panthera. They are also the most persecuted of all the big cats, as they share their habitats with very large predators, often larger than themselves. They rely on their aggression, agility and formidable qualities in order to thrive in environments where there is danger everywhere.

The North Chinese leopard is one of the remaining 9 recognised sub-species of leopard. In 1998 the population was estimated around 1000 individuals. In 2015, is estimated a total population of 174-348 individuals  Unfortunately, the distribution is highly fragmented and just a few individuals are isolated in nature reserves and in a remote areas. In 1998 the population is estimated about 1000 individuals. This subspecies have lost the 98% of his historical range distribution.

Compared to the other members of felidae, the leopard has relatively short legs, with an unproportionately large body and head. These incredible cats are capable of reaching speeds of up to 36mph.

The coat pattern is very similar to that of a jaguar but the rosettes of a leopard are much smaller and densely packed. North Chinese leopards are physically very similar to the Amur leopard but the coats are a slightly different shade, being almost orange in colour for some individuals. The rich colours and markings of this subspecies of cat are truly stunning.

Their coat is slightly longer than that of the other subspecies due to their native habitat being one of very cold temperatures.

The range of the North Chinese leopard is very much depleted and the population survives in small, isolated patches. As with most of the leopard subspecies, threats include loss of habitat and being poached for the fur trade and traditional medicine. Although not the biggest carnivore in their habitat, they are very successful. Well camouflaged fur, opportunistic hunting behavior and the strength to move large carcasses into trees aid them in their survival.

Like the majority of the cat family, they are naturally solitary and thought only meeting when mating. However, research and data collection on these cats is not extensive, so we cannot be sure of their behaviours in the wild.

Cat Care Gifts for Atara

IUCN Red List Category Endangered(EN)

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