BROOKFIELD, Ill. — Brookfield Zoo outside Chicago says two Amur leopard cubs, members of an endangered species, are doing well two months after being born.
The zoo said Thursday the 8-week-old cubs are 8 and 9 pounds and are expected to make their public debut in July.
Zoo officials say there are currently 82 Amur leopards in 42 zoos in North America. The cubs’ parents, Lisa and Kasha, were introduced to Brookfield Zoo in 2015 as part of the Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan.
A nocturnal animal, the leopard used to roam the Amur River basin and mountains in the northeastern section of China and the Korean peninsula.
According to the Chicago Zoological Society, there are about 65 Amur leopards left in the wild, mostly in an isolated population in the Russian Far East. Poaching; retribution hunting and a shrinking habitat threaten the animals’ survival.