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'Dancing in light, shimmering.. like a giant diorama made from mother-of-pearl… was Lake Baikal'
Mike Carter, The Observer, 2009

Let's dance! Playful antics of world’s rarest big cat captured on camera

By Antonina Koshcheeva
30 June 2015

Hidden video footage helps scientists learn more about female Amur leopards.

Berry is actually already known for her dancing prowess having delighted viewers with similar moves in previous videos as a cub. Picture: Nikolay Zinovyev

Hidden cameras within a new national park have captured the playful dancing of a rare Amur leopardess in the wild. In what is certain to become a viral hit, the footage shows Berry in a cheerful mood as she rolls about the ground and entwines herself on a tree.

At one point she even lightly paws at the camera attached to the foliage as if making sure it has her best angle, and staff at the Land of the Leopard reserve say her actions are similar to those in a curious domestic kitten.

The high-definition video was shot beside a picturesque bank of the Kedrovka River in the Russian Far East and then edited in a special way by Andrey Pichugin.

Berry is actually already known for her dancing prowess having delighted viewers with similar moves in previous videos as a cub.

Vasily Solkin, head of communications at the Amur branch of WWF Russia, said: 'The kitten has turned into a young beauty who deserves the title of Miss Land of the Leopard 2015.'

With as few as 45 adults remaining in the wild – making them the most endangered big cat anywhere on the planet - any footage of them is valuable to conservationists.

Leopardess Berry


Leopardess Berry


Leopardess Berry


Leopardess Berry


Leopardess Berry

The footage shows Berry in a cheerful mood as she rolls about the ground and entwines herself on a tree. Pictures: Land of Leopard

'The first thing that pleased us scientists when watching the video was that we were faced a healthy cheerful female cat,' said Anna Vitkalova, the head of science at the reserve.

'It is interesting that, as a rule, such a playful behaviour of Amur leopards is normally shown by males. Females are usually more restrained and, in fact, this is the first video in which we can see this behaviour displayed by a girl leopard.

'This is obviously due to her young age – Berry is about two and a half at the moment.

'However, this ‘dance’ has also a practical benefit: when a big cat rubs against a tree, it leaves some special marks that serve as signals for other animals, including male leopards.'

The footage was captured within the boundaries of the Land of the Leopard National Park, a special protected area spanning some 262,000 hectares.

The reserve was created by the Russian Government in 2012 in a bid to protect the rare wildlife, particularly the Amur leopard. Despite the move, however, destruction of its natural habitat and poaching has meant that, according to WWF, 'the future of this species is uncertain'.

A nocturnal animal that tends to live and hunt alone, it has a different coat to other leopards, with widely spaced rosettes and thick black borders. In the summer its coat is short but in the winter it thickens, with hairs up to 7cm long, to keep out the worst of the Siberian weather.

Comments (2)

Berry is beuatiful leopard.I love leopards more than himself.I firmly believe that it will be a good father and raise a lot of chicks, which extends population of Amur leopards in Russia.
Michal Sefr, Praha-Czech republic
02/07/2015 16:11
2
0
We know Berry... She flirts with Meamur in a previous vidéo!:-)
Hopefully she will have cubs, soon .
Berry est vraiment un magnifique Leopard.Great vidéo.
Jocelyne, FRANCE
01/07/2015 04:47
7
0
1

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