The Saint Louis Zoo in St. Louis, Missouri has welcomed a very special set of twins to their zoo family.
On April 21st, two critically endangered Amur leopard cubs were born. They are two little girls, and they are the first pair of cubs born at the zoo since 2010.
Their birth is a huge victory for not only the Saint Louis Zoo but for conservation efforts throughout North America, as this species of leopard is considered to be one of the most endangered cats in the world.
The cubs are named Anya and Irina, which translates to “grace” and “peace.” Such beautiful names for two beautiful cubs.
The cubs were born to Dorothy and Samson, two 4-year-old leopards at the zoo. They were Dorothy’s first litter.
Samson is back out in the zoo and can be visited by guests, but the cubs and Dorothy must stay inside an indoor maternity den within the Big Cat Country part of the zoo.
According to the zoo’s website, this helps the cubs “safely navigate all of the obstacles in the outdoor habitat.”
Steve Bircher of the Saint Louis Zoo said, “There are so few of these rare big cats left in the world and each birth is extremely important for the survival of the species.”
Jackie McGarrahan, Saint Louis Zoo; pictured above is Dorothy with her two cubs