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Rare leopard called Lord is singlehandedly saving the world's most endangered big cats

By The Siberian Times reporter
20 January 2018

Only 80 big cats remain in the wild, but this alpha male has been courting three eligible females.

Lord - with distinctive white paw marks resembling gloves - has been spotted close to three separate female Amur leopards. Picture: Land of the Leopard Nature Reserve

It’s as if Lord is taking it on himself to rescue the entire species from extinction. 

Camera traps in the Land of the Leopard Nature Reserve in eastern Russia show the ‘aristocat’ has been busy. 

He has been spotted close to three separate female Amur leopards - one called Pamela, named after actress and model Pamela Anderson. 

Lord - with distinctive white paw marks resembling gloves - was also seen wooing a cat called Nerussa, plus another known as Leo 113F.

His romantic inclinations are delighting scientists in the park, which was set up six years ago to save the species.

saving the world's most endangered big cats


saving the world's most endangered big cats
Lord the leopard. Pictures: Land of the Leopard Nature Reserve


The Amur or Siberian leopards are under threat after decades of poaching.

Latest figures show only 80 alive in the wild, although  this is an improvement on the situation a decade or so ago when there were a mere 30, indicating that protection measures are working. 

The number remains critically low because an outbreak of a serious disease could still wipe out the species. 

Little is known of the Amur leopard’s love life but until now in the reserve observation of the predators showed that the males had only a single partner. 

saving the world's most endangered big cats


saving the world's most endangered big cats


saving the world's most endangered big cats

Lord (top of first pictures) was seen with three of the pictured female leopards - Leo113F, Nerussa (middle) and Pamela. Pictures: Land of the Leopard Nature Reserve

Lord is rather more promiscuous, it is clear. 

'We don't have that much information about the social structure of the life of the leopards in the Russian Far East,’ said Tatiana Baranovskaya, director of the Land of the Leopard Nature Reserve. 

'Thanks to new photographic data, we are receiving precious information, that will allow us to see result of courtships and links to potential kittens.' 

Usually leopards couple for no longer than a week. 

Seeing two adult cats of opposite gender in front of photo traps soon after each other can only mean courtship.

saving the world's most endangered big cats

saving the world's most endangered big cats

saving the world's most endangered big cats


saving the world's most endangered big cats


saving the world's most endangered big cats
Land of the Leopard Nature Reserve's director Tatiana Baranovskaya, and some of the leopards. Pictures: Land of the Leopard


After the end of brief 'family life' both animals lose interest to each other and part. 

In case of successful conception, the female is pregnant for around 90 days. 

If all goes well during delivery, a litter of one to three kittens is born. The male leopard takes no part in bringing up cubs

Land of the Leopard Nature Reserve boasts Russia's biggest network of animal photo traps. 

More than 360 automatic cameras capture every move of the world's rarest big cats. 

Leopards are born with unique pattern of spots, forming so-called rosettes that never change, like fingerprint in humans; this is how scientists distinguish the animals. 

LORD THE AMUR LEOPARD, video courtesy Land of the Leopard Nature Reserve

Comments (12)

they are quite rare so they need to be protected.
Marcus, Chippaham
31/07/2019 15:47
0
0
I adopted him!I got a booklet with photos in of Lord and his cub.We need to make sure they do not lose numbers.
Marcus, Chippaham
21/07/2019 17:32
0
0
I adopted him!He is very good.I have a booklet with pictures of him and his cub.His cub was born in a cave.
Marcus, Chippaham
21/07/2019 17:03
0
0
"Please keep an eye on poachers especially asiatic ones that are the main cause of extinction worldwide in recent times be it land or water environments. They will kill everything for their stupid medicine"

Woah might wanna dial back on the racism there buddy.
Elliot, Plymouth
28/01/2018 06:23
1
1
SAVE THE SIBIRIAN LEOPARDS !!!
WAGNER LEON, U.S.A /NEW YORK
23/01/2018 23:47
3
1
多亏被分散在三个国家,避免了鸡蛋放在一个篮子被全部摔坏的命运!想想华南虎、白鱀豚,真的是莫名感伤!
姚剑申, 巨鹿/中国
22/01/2018 18:00
3
0
One photo = 1000 words!!

Well done to all involved in this difficult conservation plan.

Please keep an eye on poachers especially asiatic ones that are the main cause of extinction worldwide in recent times be it land or water environments. They will kill everything for their stupid medicine
Matthew Tabone, Malta
22/01/2018 15:48
6
1
Handsome Lord, a famous Amur Léopard !....Enjoy to learn that the number of them increase, good work in Land of Leopard reserve.The photos trap give us scientific informations and pleasant vidéo. Thanks to take car of them further .Hope the genetic of this small goup would not a problèm but pictures show healthy animals and cubs.
Jocelyne, FRANCE
22/01/2018 02:50
7
0
These are beautiful cats! Thank you for your service and dedication to save these majestic cats. I hope the Siberian Tiger can make a comeback too!
Jessica, Indianapolis USA
21/01/2018 23:33
7
0
This is such a beautiful variety of leopard. Thank you for your efforts to save the species. The planet and caring people on it applaud you.
Carole Filipak, Cleveland OHIO United States
21/01/2018 15:21
9
0
I love your stories and photos and am so impressed with your attention to wildlife conservation. I recently read English translation of Arsenyev's journals which introduced your beautiful country to me. Your publication brings that countryside to life.
Theresa Massey, USA--TEXASI
21/01/2018 08:34
10
0
just keep the location as secret as you can. otherwise some crazy hunter will find them and kill them.
Benedikt MORAK, Moscow
20/01/2018 19:12
20
1
1

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