Dartmoor Zoo are thrilled to announce the long-awaited arrival of the rarest cat in the world, the Amur Leopard.
The critically endangered Amur Leopard named Freddo (pronounced Fray-doh) which translates to ‘cold’ or ‘chilly’ to represent his habitat and their adaptability to thrive in cold climates, arrived at Dartmoor Zoo from Bellewaerde in Belgium on Tuesday 14th November. With less than 100 left in the wild, they are considered the rarest cat in the world.
Dartmoor Zoo’s CEO Benjamin Mee commented:
“Although captive born, Freddo is vital in assisting with the preservation and education of this critically endangered species, ensuring their survival for many generations to come. Our next steps will focus on finding a suitable female match for a potential breeding recommendation, further promoting genetic diversity. With many challenges facing these wonderful animals such as poaching and habitat loss, we are honoured to play a part in the global conservation efforts to protect this species from extinction.”
Dartmoor Zoo’s Curator Scott Chambers commented:
“While creating Freddo’s enclosure, we wanted to ensure that he was surrounded by a slice of Siberia. Everything that has been selected, is with his adjustment and ease of move in mind. We have teamed up with Grow 4 Good South West to source Siberian Elms, Larches, Boxwoods and a Flowering Cherry tree, all of which have been scattered through the bank, to simulate a mountainous forest and replicating a natural territory.
The move has been recommended by the EEP (European Endangered Programme), to promote genetic diversity whilst breeding, so long term, we would work towards finding a female match for Freddo. By doing this, we would be further continuing the hard work that zoos around the globe have been collaborating on, by protecting this species which is near extinction. Zoos have been vital in raising the numbers from a dwindling 20 – 30, back to around 100 in the wild and over 200 in captivity.”
Freddo’s enclosure will be open for public viewing on Sunday 26th November!
Without local businesses and public support, this endeavour would not have been possible. So, it is with honourable mention the public supporters are thanked for their incredible contribution of £6576, Meddings for their contribution of the enclosure’s development, Arc Metals for their contribution of the enclosure’s steel window frame, and to Devon Contract Waste, Zoo Trips and Helpful Holidays for their incredibly generous financial contributions.