On February 4, Candy, a 12-year old Amur leopard, gave birth to her first cub. Despite being a first time mom, Candy is a very attentive mother. “She is positioning the cub around her, nuzzling it, and encouraging it to nurse. All very good signs for a first time mother,” says Dr. Ginger Sturgeon, a member of the veterinary staff.
“This tiny creature that is barely able to move around is having a major impact on the Amur leopard population,” says Dr. Barbara Baker, President and CEO, of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. “The birth of our Amur leopard Candy’s first cub is important because it is the first introduction of Candy’s bloodline into the North American Amur leopard population.”
The Amur leopard is one of the rarest cats in the world, with only an estimated 70 cats left in the wild. Candy’s cub will play an important role in the continuation of her species. Dr. Baker says, “A strong zoo population is the first step toward protecting this magnificent animal from extinction.”