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Rare baby leopards debut in France

07-22-2010 13:47 BJT

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Rare baby clouded leopards born in Paris' main zoo have made their debut, boosting hopes that the at-risk species could be saved.

Officials from the Jardin des Plantes, part of the French capital's Natural History Museum, proudly presented the leopards, known in French as "nebulous" leopards on Wednesday.

The two females, Pati and Jaya, were born on May 14th. Their mother came from a British zoo and the father arrived from Prague in 2007.

They are small and also very fragile. When they reach two months, the little ones start coming out and playing. Now they already have an appetite for meat.

These leopards are extremely difficult to breed in captivity.

Mathieu Dorval, Deputy Chief Curator, said, "It's unusual because those leopards are classified on the red list, it's a species which is in danger of extinction. There are around 10 thousand individuals in the wild, only 40 are in captivity over thirteen zoos across Europe. Here, we are the only ones in France who manage to get them to reproduce, so it's quite exceptional."

It's hoped the debut of the baby leopards will encourage people to do their best to protect the endangered species.


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