(c) Land of the Leopard National Park
The victim of poachers, Amur leopard Leo 80M is taking the final stage of rehabilitation, after which he will be ready to be released into the wild nature. This conclusion has been reached by experts of the Scientific and Technical Council of the Land of the Leopard National Park.
The male of the rarest big cat of the world was found in the territory of the National Park “Land of the Leopard” close to the border with China in June 2015. He had lost three fingers on the front paw hitting a poacher’s trap. The animal underwent surgery, and then began to recover quickly. Soon, relocation of the animal took place to an enclosure of the Center for rehabilitation and reintroduction of tigers and other rare animals. For almost three months, experts have been watching behaviour of the leopard and how the leopard is hunting to determine whether he is ready to return to the wild.
The future of leopard became the central issue of the Scientific and Technical Council of the “Land of the Leopard” meeting this week. In addition to the Council members, experts in the behavior of cats were invited to attend, as well as representatives of the environmental authorities of Primorsky region. Specialist of the Center for rehabilitation Ekaterina Blidchenko told the audience about observations of the predator. According to her, in spite of the injured paw, the predator has no problems with hunting and has already shown good skills.
“The leopard is physically well developed, has instant reaction and will, most likely, have no problems with hunting - said Ekaterina Blidchenko. – The injured paw did not prevent him from climbing trees in the enclosure, exploring his territory. It is also important that he is a self-confident beast. He knows how to make decisions quickly and perfectly adapts to the new conditions. This means that the leopard will be able to compete with other leopards in the wild”.
At the same time Ekaterina noted that before release into the wild nature the leopard must undergo correction of undesirable behavior. This means that in order to secure an adequate for the animal fear of man, a step by step training course to be developed to prepare the beast for the wild nature. It may include scaring the animal with flares, loud noises and other methods.
Sixteen members of the Council present at the meeting have unanimously agreed that leopard Leo 80M must be returned to the wild. At the same time, the final decision of the animal’s future will be made by the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor). Prior to its obtaining, experts of the Council of the “Land of the Leopard” will determine the best time to release the rare carnivore to the nature and will also approve a series of measures to be taken in advance. Among them is a plan for monitoring movement of the leopard using a satellite collar, specification of the people responsible for this work and other organizational matters.
These are such a great news for all of our supporters who help us to maintain such rare animals in the Rehabilitation Center! Thanks to you, another rare cat that had a missfortune to suffer from humans will get a chance for a free life in natural habitat!
As you know, we always try to find new ways to ensure the survival of the rare Amur leopards and look for fund to implement our conservation projects in the field. We are very grateful for your support of our effort through GlobalGiving and we want to ask you for another favor!
Please vote for our project ‘Saving Amur leopards, Russia's Far East’ at http://www.outdoorconservation.eu/project-voting-category.cfm?catid=3
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