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Wounded rare leopard wins battle to return to the wild

By The Siberian Times reporter
27 September 2015

Big cat seen by Baywatch star Pamela Anderson will hunt again after being snared by poachers' trap.

He is one of only 80 or so of the endangered big cats in the wild. Picture: Land of Leopard

The unnamed male Amur leopard, known only as Leo 80M, has confounded animal experts and proven he can hunt, so will be readied for a return to the wild. 

He is one of only 80 or so of the endangered big cats in the wild. He lost three front claws after becoming entangled in a trap set by hunters in the Land of the Leopard Reserve close to the Chinese border. 

Amur leopard


Amur leopard
Before release, he will undergo training so he stays clear of humans. Pictures: Land of Leopard


It was clear the leopard, a cub probably between one and two years old, was on the brink of exhaustion and in a state of distress. After being tranquillised, he was taken to a rehabilitation centre in the village of Alekseyevka. Without help, the leopard would likely have died within days.

In June, Elena Salmanova, deputy director of the Land of Leopard National Park, gave a pessimistic forecast, saying: 'Since the animal has no claws on its front paw, it will hardly be able to get food and therefore cannot go back into the wild.'

After three months rehabilitation, the view has changed. Yekaterina Blidchenko, an expert at the rehabilitation centre, said: 'The leopard is well-developed physically. He has instant reaction, most likely he won't have difficulties hunting. 

Amur leopard


Amur leopard
'The injured paw didn't stop him from climbing trees in the cage, and exploring the territory.' Pictures: Land of Leopard


'The injured paw didn't stop him from climbing trees in the cage, and exploring the territory. It's also very important that this is a self-confident animal. He can make decisions quickly and adapts to new conditions perfectly. It means that Leo 80M will be able to compete with other leopards in the wild.'

Before release, he will undergo training so he stays clear of humans. All 16 members of the reserve voted this week to release Leo 80M into the wild. On a visit to Russia, actress and animal rights campaigner Pamela Anderson, 48, was shown the leopard earlier this month. 

Comments (4)

very cool story
kent, Haines Alaska
09/10/2015 22:28
0
0
Happy to know that there are people that help animals to live in their habits. Thanks a lot.
Maurizio, Italy
28/09/2015 23:23
7
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.Thank village rehabilitation very much to take care of this rare and beautiful animal (what a fur !!). Go Léo ...to live in the wild and ..have baby to increase the number of Amur Leopard
Jocelyne, FRANCE
28/09/2015 14:17
8
1
Glad to hear of his release...the care wounded animals receive is imperative and such charities must be applauded, including celebrities involved such as Baywatch's original dame Pamela Anderson. The report however highlights that despite handicaps, injured wild animals will adapt...their call for the wild will overcome disabililty...perhaps we humans should take inspiration from their tenacity!
Carmen, Ireland
28/09/2015 06:23
11
0
1

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