We are delighted to announce our newest arrival at The Big Cat Sanctuary, Leia.
Leia is a 5-year-old Amur leopard and was born from a litter of three girls on 15th October 2017. She was born and raised at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, Great Yarmouth. On a frosty and snowy morning of 15th December, our team travelled to Thrigby Hall to pick up Leia, who is going to be an amazing new addition to the Sanctuary.
Leia is a beautiful and bold Amur leopard with gorgeous face markings and long whiskers! Her arrival to the Sanctuary was seamless; she left her crate with little hesitation and then got comfy in bed after the long journey.
Leia is part of the International Breeding Programme and will be partnered with our 3-year-old male Amur leopard, Luka. We hope that the two will help boost the numbers of Amur leopards in captivity, creating a safety net for the species if it were to go extinct in the wild.
Amur leopards are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List and are classed as the most endangered big cat in the world. There are approximately 80-100 Amur leopards left in the wild and around 215 worldwide in captivity. The species can be found in far-eastern Russia in the Amur valley. Their main threats faced in the wild is poaching, poaching for their prey, habitat destruction and with such a small population, natural disasters.
Leia has been at the Sanctuary for almost one week now. As anticipated, Leia is taking time to familiarise herself in her new surroundings, including her new neighbours, Luka and Xizi. We are sure that she will soon be exploring her enclosure and become more comfortable in her new home.
We are excited for you all to hopefully meet Leia the next time you visit the Sanctuary. Stay tuned for our latest updates of Leia on our social media!
Watch Leia arrival video HERE!