Leopards in Moscow zoo have always lived. There are several subspecies of these magnificent predators. Today, the number on the cat’s old territory you can see Amur leopard — the only snow leopard and the rarest of all the big cats.

This animal survived only in Southern Primorye, and despite a number of security measures taken, scientists are still arguing about whether the future of the Far Eastern leopard. Included in the Red Book of the IUCN and Russian as a subspecies, which is under threat of total extinction. Currently, the zoo leopards live longer than in the wild. All of them are included in the International Stud Book. Slightly increased the number — and the leopard will rival Tiger as forage base narrowed and they are now forced to hunt the same game.

Leopard mesmerizing. Light, deceptively subtle, amazingly graceful. Silent and swift. Leopard is always stylish and photogenic, failed poses for him there. As he climbs trees better than small cats, sometimes pulls on the top bunk and their prey. None of the predators do not like to be taken away from the food, and even more so — when food from his torn piece by piece by outsiders. And if the Amur leopard is most concerned that his dinner confiscated tiger, African relatives, living in such a popular tourist national parks, ever suspected assaults on meat bipeds. Tourists with cameras flowing river, and Bernhard Grzimek talked about the African Leopard, poor fellow, who, trying to hide them from the tourists produced three-meter python, then climbed with him on a tree, coming down only at night and was able to calm in trapeznichat.

Far Eastern leopard in nature are not easy to see. Its representatives in the zoo is also quite the lodge, although born in captivity. In the wild leopard goes hunting somewhere for an hour or two before sunset and hunting the first half of the night, although sometimes pursues prey, and in the afternoon, especially on cloudy days and cold winter. So, the male is now «on duty» in the cat row transferred from the zoo nursery parkovskogo of Volokolamsk, but behaves very modestly prefers twilight life, as his wild ancestors.

— First in my practice too cautious leopard — surprised the head of department of the Moscow zoo mammals Eugene Stepanovich Davidov. — People are not interested in it at all. Of course, the gentle leopard in my life I never met. Maybe someone else met, and I do not. The best defense is to attack them, and they begin to defend one of them driven reasons. It is intolerant of attacks on their territory. That the team include leopards, even out of the question (the exception — Littermates in his youth). And personal life it is difficult to establish because of their ferocity. During the mating season, the couple in the neighboring cells behave as if they have a great love: the male rubs against the fence, is committed to the female, and it is necessary to connect them — are beginning to tear each other. It is necessary to keep the hose at the ready and be ready at any time to disperse them in cells. If the bride and groom absolutely do not like each other, we have to find the other half in other cities and countries, organize transportation … And yet in zoopitom-nick Moscow Zoo successfully drove leopards and obtain their cubs. Once Kripen’ka took after three male and nicknamed them — the «three heroes». These early childhood have been in contact with a person, and therefore — less fierce. And they are happy to have taken to foreign zoos.

Early socialization — but in the context of the zoo getting the right communication skills with the man — is very important for zverёnysha. He understands that no two-legged enemies and competitors, but pretty powerful beings and the source of many pleasant things. Rather, leopardёnok perceive «their» man as a senior kinsman.

One of the new Russian somehow got himself a couple of leopards. They tolerated each other, because, most likely, were Littermates. He fed them, they behaved quite loyally. But then the owner started having problems with the law, is so serious that it is to communicate with the leopards could not, and the animals had time to grow, and others refused to tolerate. The wife of the owner, just opened the door, they threw the meat and then the door slammed. As a result, had to call us, we are through the crack in the door lulled handsome and was taken to the zoo.

Adult leopard ohotnikodinochka, incursions into its territory and shall not adhere to the tactics of pre-emptive strikes. It is less than a tiger or a lion, but a swift, very energetic, and deprived them of lazy good-natured. He — compressed steel spring with sharp claws, daggers, ready to straighten up at any time. Once one of our leopard had to trim claws. We have to immobilize him, they were moved to the operating table, made «manicure». I took the animal by the scruff and the root of the tail and carried her into the cell. And suddenly I felt that the leopard is not sleeping! While he did not resist, it can be seen, as laid down — the mother carries a kitten by the scruff, and he should hang relaxed. But as soon as I had let go … nowhere to go, I was almost at the cage and tried letting go, throw yourself away from the beast. Leopard instantly turned in flight and claws raspolosovat my jacket almost to the belly! Such is the feline ninja, which must be very careful.

Leopard WORLD

Previously, scientists numbered 25-27 subspecies (geographic races) leopard, based mainly in color and location of spots. However, the study of their DNA showed that genetically were verified subspecies of leopard may be considered only eight or nine: African, Indo-Chinese, Javanese, Indian, Ceylon, North Chinese, Far Eastern, Persian (also referred to it and Near South Arabian th). If you look at the total area of ​​the company’s spotty, it stretched from Africa to the Far East, once — a continuous ribbon, today — the individual spots. The biggest spot in Africa, then goes Indochina. In Europe, the leopards have died already in the prehistoric period, remaining only on the arms and in zoos.

Leopard — the second «nobility» heraldic beast, second only to the imperial lion (as at the beginning of the two heraldic beast all merged into one). A. Brehm in the «Life of Animals» has given an excellent description of all that so fascinates us in this beast, «Leopard or Panther, the most beautiful of all cats in the world. His velvet paw competes for its softness with paw domestic cat, but it hides a very sharp claws; his teeth were much stronger than the teeth of the lion. Beautiful and flexible, strong and agile, brave and cunning, he is perfectly developed predator. » And further: «Only when it detects movement all its beauty. Every move so flexibly, so plastic, deftly and quickly that you can only admire the animals that manage to observe it. Its movements can not be seen anything indicating stress. The body bends and turns in all directions, and foot steps so quiet, as if bears the lightest body. Every bend elegant, rounded and soft, short, running or creeping Leopard delivers true pleasure for each gaze … «. Better not say!

When the ancient Egyptian flatterers wanted to emphasize the military prowess of the pharaoh, then compared it with the furious leopard. And for centuries throughout the range of the leopard great warriors and leaders want to sit on the spotted skin, cover her shoulders and his saddle horse. The man is admired and leopard hunted him, the panic fear itself become prey. This duality can be explained by the fact that in the south of monkey centuries include menu leopard, and for all animal care, he does not feel a proper respect to their relatives. The closer he is facing us, especially in poorly protected African and Indian villages, the more it overcomes Darwinism. Just happiness that man-eating leopards are extremely rare, th flow in the hunt for the people they are real virtuosos. The famous hunter Jim Corbett recalled a man-eating leopard, «which at various times killed and ate four Indian sportsmen who tried to hunt him. The last time I heard that he killed forty people and thanks to all the well-known way to eat their possible murderers lived a very «peaceful» and «serene» life. As here, on occasion, do not wake up almost genetic fear of the big cats? It is known that even a born and bred in captivity monkey panic and rage at the sight of a stuffed leopard. There is a similar reaction and we, although they are great changing, according to education, psychological protection, etc.

Most spotted cat fear in overpopulated India, and there it is often faced with people. Because Indian Leopard simply have nowhere to go — the towns and villages, farm land grab more and more land. Indian media regularly report on the visits of «village panther» in the settlements. What a curious beast falls into the water tank on a tea plantation, and rescuers have to extract it from there; commits daring raids on rural poultry and sheep; is sent on a tour of the town, where people throw or run, or grab a stick and try to get rid of the leopard. Latest results instantly enraged beast, and he immediately rushes to bite and tear offenders. But, interestingly, not to kill. These collisions resemble not hunt, but rather a territorial cat disassembly. If the leopard is not to provoke, it can easily pass through the city and disappear. But it is easy to give advice, but in real life encounter with a large predator so staggering that a safety recall with difficulty. Black panther Bagheera (the leopard-melanistic) by their presence «locked» the inhabitants of his village Mowgli in their huts for the night, and in the Indian life such stories were not considered — but unlike fairy tales Kipling leopard wandered into the village only by its feline Affairs .

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