Animals

Zoo Welcomes Endangered Leopard Cubs And They Are Just Too Sweet

There are less than 65 of these beautiful cats left in the wild!

Get ready for the best news you’ll read today.

Illinois’ Brookfield Zoo recently welcomed a pair of leopard and they are just about the cutest babies ever. Beyond being adorable, these cubs are important for another reason: They add to the dangerously low population of their species, the Amur leopard.

The baby brothers, who have yet to be named, were born on April 18. They were just introduced to the world this month by the Chicago Zoological Society, which runs the Brookfield Zoo.

Cathy Bazzoni/Chicago Zoological Society

The Amur leopard has been called the “world’s rarest cat” by the World Wildlife Fund. These stunning creatures have seen their population dwindle due to poaching, as well as an eradication of their habitat in eastern Russia and northeast China. According to the Chicago Zoological Society, there are less than 65 Amur leopards left in the wild. They are considered critically endangered.

The newborn cubs join a population of 82 Amur leopards being housed at 42 zoos across North America.

Cathy Bazzoni/Chicago Zoological Society

The cubs currently weigh 8 and 9 pounds and will grow to be 70 to 105 pounds each, according to the WWF. At full size, Amur leopards can run 37 miles per hour and jump up to 10 feet vertically.

Their mom, 7-year-old Lisa, and dad, 8-year-old Kasha, have been at Brookfield Zoo since 2013 and in 2016, they had another male cub named Temur.

It’s World Wildlife Day today! This is Temur the Amur Leopard born at Brookfield Zoo in 2016. He is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (AZA) Species Survival Plan for the very rare and extremely endangered Amur Leopard. It is believed there are as few as 40 Amur Leopards remaining in the wild. Populations of Amur Leopards along with the other big cats of the wild are rapidly declining due to ☑️ loss of habitats and prey ☑️ conflicts with people ☑️ poaching ☑️ illegal trade Wildlife is our shared heritage, it’s protection is our shared responsibility! Support AZA Accredited Zoos! @brookfieldzoo @zoos_aquariums @cites @youthforwildlife #worldwildlifeday #predatorsunderthreat #brookfieldzoo #bigcat #amurleopard #speciessurvivalplan #zoossavingspecies #wwd2018

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The newborn babies are expected to make their debut at the Brookfield Zoo in mid-July. Sounds like a trip to Illinois is in order! But if you can’t make it, be sure to follow the zoo on Instagram for the latest photos of these growing boys!