Two leopard brought from Lisbon (Portugal) to Sochi to restore the population of the predator in the North Caucasus, said the resort.
The World Conservation Union and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums initiated the transfer of two leopard in Sochi National Park under the "Fine leopard in the North Caucasus."
"At present, the national park has two pairs of leopard. Oct. 21 at the zoo in Lisbon will bring another pair," — said the deputy director of the Sochi national park Umar Semenov, whose words are quoted in the report.
Leopards will also be imported from Iran, Turkmenistan and zoos in other countries. In the first phase breeding leopards will be conducted in a breeding center and rehabilitation. In the future, will be releasing predators into the wild to create the free population.
According to the report, the alleged creation of the free self-reproducing populations of leopards — about 30 individuals, and later — the sustainable population of up to 50 individuals.
"On Sunday, a flight from Lisbon Zoo in Sochi will be brought leopard breeding pair — a male and a female. The male name Zadig (9 years), female — Andrea (7 years), they already had offspring — eight in three litters of kittens. Then cats go to a breeding center for rehabilitation and leopards in Sochi National Park and will be released from the transport of cells in large aviaries, "- said the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Russia.
Environmentalists and scientists hope to get a new pair of offspring in the next year, and in 2014, to release it into the wild, say in the fund.
"The Lisbon Zoo will not be euthanized animals during transport, so they now are taught to new transport cage", — the WWF.
Near Eastern leopard subspecies previously lived in the area from the North Caucasus to the Red Sea and the Bosporus to Pakistan, but in the XX century, the area of its distribution is much reduced. By the 1950s, the Russian Caucasus survived only a few specimens of the leopard. Today at the leopards rarely go there in the Caucasian republic of Northern Iran. Currently, WWF, together with Ministry of Environment, the Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences and Moscow Zoo supports a project to restore populations of leopard. Offspring leopards who now live in cages in the Sochi National Park, will be released into the wild Caucasus Nature Reserve after learning hunting and other skills.
At the end of 2008 by the decision of the Russian government to finance capital construction and rehabilitation center breeding leopard — the most expensive part of the project — as part of the preparation for the Olympic Games in Sochi have been allocated from the federal budget. In May 2010, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin released from a cage in the aviary of the Sochi National Park, one of the two female leopard was brought to Russia from Iran.