English wildlife park unveils Amur leopard cubs

15 February 2007 09:30

Can you think of names for these extremely rare Amur leopard cubs? The male and female cubs are the latest to be born at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, Filby, near Yarmouth, which is playing a vital role in an international breeding programme to safeguard the species.

There are thought to be less than 50 Amur leopards left in the wild in their Russian homeland and only the same number in captivity around the globe.

Proud mum Indigo, an even rarer black Amur leopard, has already raised three other cubs in her time at Thrigby, which have since gone to zoos in Holland and the Czech Republic.

With Indigo and father Clyde looking on warily, yesterday was an important day for the cubs, born on December 7, as they received their second inoculations from vet Ian McNicoll, from the Anchorage Veterinary Hospital, Acle.

He said: “This is their second inoculations protecting them against flu, leukaemia and feline enteritis. It is important to protect them in case they come into contact with domestic cats.”

Mr McNicoll also took the opportunity to insert identity chips under the skin beneath their shoulder blades.

Thrigby’s assistant manager Scott Bird ended up with a number of scratches as he retrieved the fiery cubs from their cage and pinned them down for the vet.

“This is about as big as we can comfortably handle them. Luckily it’s the last inoculation,” he said.

EDP readers are invited to enter a competition to name the cubs, sending their suggestions on a postcard to zoo director Ken Sims, at Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, Filby, Yarmouth NR29 3DR by February 28. There will two prizes of a family ticket for four up for grabs.

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