Amur leopards are considered the most endangered cats on the planet. Amur leopards take their name from the Amur region in eastern Russia. Once found from South Korea to north of the China-Russia border, they are now nearly extinct in the wild due to poaching for fur, loss of habitat, and trophy hunting. Though there are differing reports about just how many of them remain, the largest estimation is less than 50 individuals in the wild and 96 in North American zoos.
“Sochi” is an Amur leopard. He was born at the Denver Zoo on December 3, 2013. The young male is named for the Russian city hosting this year’s Winter Olympics. Sochi is the second cub for Dazma and her mate, Hari-Kari. He is the tenth Amur leopard born at the Denver Zoo since the zoo first started housing the species in 1989, about 25 years ago.