PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium has announced the arrival of its newest member – an Amur leopard cub.
Dima, the Amur leopard, could care less about his new offspring. But Mom is a different story. Candy and her cub, born Feb. 4 at 8:43 a.m., are bonding in the privacy of the Pittsburgh Zoo’s nursing den.
Lead animal keeper Kathy Suthard says Candy is the oldest known Amur leopard to give birth for the first time, at the age of 12.
“Having a cub at this age, it’s similar to someone of a grandmother’s age giving birth,” Dr. Ginger Sturgeon, director of animal health at the zoo said.
Dr. Sturgeon says it was a surprise when they found she was pregnant.
“On the hundredth day, if she did not deliver, we were going to anesthetize her and go in and have a C-section,” Dr. Sturgeon said.
“Fifteen minutes before we were to start, she gave birth on her own,” Suthard added.
She says Candy is a good mom.
“She keeps the cub warm, she grooms the cub, she feeds the cub, and she is the perfect mom, despite the fact that this is her first time being a mom,” Suthard said.
She says the birth of the Amur cub is a big deal.
“They are the most endangered cats in the world, with only 60 living in the Amur River region,” she said.
The story is a bit more optimistic for cats in captivity, where there are 220 Amur leopards. Make that 221.