Amur Leopard

Amur River region of China and Russia.

Roe and Sika deer, hares and badgers. At the Zoo, they eat red meat and raw bones.

Living in deciduous and mixed conifer forests Amur leopard habitat is also occupied by Amur tigers (Siberian), Asian black bears, the very rare Siberian red dog, musk deer and Sitka deer, birds from the Chinese and Indo Malayan fauna and many other animals. They live in an ecological region in Asia called the Ussuriland. The region is a meeting point of two major groups of animals, the Chinese and Siberian (Russia) fauna.

Pale cream coat with widely spaced rosettes with thick unbroken rings and darkened centers. Adult weights range from 62-199 lbs (28-90 kg), with females being smaller than males. 3-6 1/4 feet in total length (.9-1.9m).  Zoo visitors during the winter months can see how the length of an Amur leopard's beautiful spotted coat is noticeably longer. The size of the leopard combined with thick fur insulation enables Amur leopards to inhabit high elevation regions year-round.   

New census data as of February, 2015 reveals Amur leopards in Russia’s Land of the Leopard National Park now number at least 57 cats (up from just 30 cats in 2007). And an additional 8-12 leopards were counted in adjacent areas of China.  There are about 200 remaining in zoos and other breeding facilities. Five subspecies of leopards are listed as endangered. This status is granted for many of the same reasons other wildcat species are endangered: being hunted as a predator, trophy hunting, fur trade and loss of habitat.  

The El Paso Zoo's rarest animal is also the world's rarest big cat, the Amur leopard. The Zoo is currently home to a pair of adult Amur leopards. Our male, Ivan, is the father of five Amur leopards born here over the past 15 years. It is hoped that a new female, Natstya, will breed with our male in the future.  Gestation period is 90-105 days. Litters can be 1-6 cubs but usually 2-3 are born. They wean at 3 months and leave their mothers at 18-24 months. Sexual maturity is attained at about 3 years. Females may give birth every 1-2 years.

Read about Amur leopards online and check out books from your local library.  Become a member of the El Paso Zoological Society.  Funds raised by the Society are used to support conservation efforts at the Zoo and in the wild.