Meet Sasha, Brookfield Zoo's New Amur Leopard Cub


While Brookfield Zoo has been closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there's been some exciting developments behind the scenes. One of them is the arrival of an Amur leopard cub, born on March 3. The male cub, named Sasha, is currently bonding with his mom, Lisa, and learning all about his new surroundings and home.

Sasha's naming was one of the auction items offered in the Chicago Zoological Society’s (CZS) Virtu-Whirl fundraiser, which was held last week. Members of the Society’s Women’s Board won the bid to name the nearly two-month-old cub.

This is the third litter for 9-year-old Lisa, and the sire, 9-year-old Kasha. Previous births included Temur (pronunced Tee-moor), in 2016 and twin brothers, Jilin (pronounced GEE-lin), and Samson in 2018. The pairing of the two adults was based on a recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP). An SSP is a cooperative population management and conservation program for select species in accredited North American zoos and aquariums. Each plan manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

The Amur leopard is critically endangered with less than 65 animals left in the wild. Threats to the species include poaching; retribution hunting, loss of habitat due to logging and human settlement, and loss of prey. Their entire estimated range is about 965 square miles. Today, they are only found in one isolated population in the Russian Far East, although there may be a few individuals in the Jilin Province of northeast China. They are the northernmost subspecies of leopard in the world and are often mistaken for snow leopards. Amur leopards live in temperate forests with cold winters and hot summers, and typically rest in trees and dense vegetation or among the rocks during the day.  

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Posted: 5/1/2020 11:26:55 AM by Sean Keeley

CZS & Brookfield Zoo

Since the opening of Brookfield Zoo in 1934, the Chicago Zoological Society has had an international reputation for taking a cutting-edge role in animal care and conservation of the natural world. Learn more about the animals, people, and research that make up CZS here at our blog.


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