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Amur leopard suspected of attacking rare horses on farm

By Anna Liesowska
08 June 2015

Conservationists and experts due to meet over what to do with animal listed as most endangered big cat in the world.

Workers on the farm, near the town of Ussuriysk, have recorded the animal’s movements on camera and are now asking WWF and the Primorsky Krai government for assistance. Picture: Novonikolsk stud farm

A farm breeding a number of rare horses has been at the centre of alleged attacks from an Amur leopard.

Novonikolsk stud farm is the only one in the Far East that breeds Vladimir heavy draft horses, and is also home to yaks, Siberian stags, spotted deer and Hereford cows.

Over the space of three days, the big cat is said to have killed two foals and is suspected of also taking a yak calf missing from the field. There are fears that some of the stags and deer may also have become victims, although it is difficult to determine.

Workers on the farm, near the town of Ussuriysk, have recorded the animal’s movements on camera and are now asking WWF and the Primorsky Krai government for assistance.

Conservationists and scientists are due to meet this week to discuss what to do, because the Amur leopard is listed as the most endangered big cat anywhere on the planet.

Amur leopard


Amur leopard


Amur leopard


Amur leopard


Amur leopard

'People are afraid. The beast did come before over the past six years, but was cautious. This week it behaved brazenly, and comes in broad daylight.' Pictures: Novonikolsk stud farm

Tamara Habiryanova, general director of the farm, complained: 'We don’t just have horses here. We are breeding rare Vladimir Heavy Draft foals. The damage from the loss of the two individuals was 330,000 roubles ($5,300) and no one will compensate us for that.

'Game wardens suspect that the leopard has already got a family here. Judging by paw prints, near the farm could be two adults and three leopard cubs.

'People are afraid. The beast did come before over the past six years, but was cautious. This week it behaved brazenly, and comes in broad daylight.'

With as few as 60 adults remaining in the wild, the WWF organisation says the '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.

Tamara Habiryanova with yaks


Yak


Horses


Spotted deer

Novonikolsk stud farm is the only one in the Far East that breeds Vladimir heavy draft horses, and is also home to yaks, Siberian stags, spotted deer and Hereford cows. Pictures: VL.ru

Experts at the Land of the Leopard National Park, in the Russian Far East, insist that Amur leopards are 'rather peaceful' animals and are working on a solution.

'There has not been a single recorded case of an attack on a human,' said a spokesperson for the reserve. 'Without aggression, a leopard will never attack first.

'Besides, we do not yet have 100 per cent certainty that this is the Amur leopard that has been attacking horses. Only after getting a reliable information, we, along with other experts, will be able to develop an action plan and take actions.'

Representatives of environmental organizations and scientists will meet on June 9 at the Department of Hunting Supervision of Primorsky Krai to identify the beast, and decided what to do next.

Comments (2)

That is so sad i am so sorry you guys!! I love riding horses i am involved in a lot of horse stuff and i have my own. I know how important they are to us.
Carrie Johnson, Denver, Colorado
23/10/2019 05:05
0
0
There is a special flexible fencing that makes it impossible for big cats, lions, tigers, leopards to climb or jump over. The fence flexes when the cats try to climb it and are unable to get the stability needed to climb over. Some of the outdoor wildlife parks use it to contain their big cats while giving them lots of freedom. The fencing protects other animals and people from the big cats. Some of those parks are in the USA.
rose beninger, USA
10/06/2015 11:58
18
0
1

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