This stunning female leopard has recently delivered two healthy female cubs only six months after undergoing life-saving surgery that resulted in a miscarriage.
The North Chinese leopard (Panthera pardus japonensis) cubs that were born during the night between 11th and 12th May can be seen taking their first steps in the outdoor enclosures of the Haag City Zoo in Austria on 9th June.
However, their mother Namira who recovered quickly after the successful operation, required life-saving surgery only six months ago when a pregnancy went wrong.
Karl Auinger, the veterinarian and zoological director of the zoo, became so concerned for then pregnant Namira’s health that he decided to carry out an emergency operation that removed a dead cub that became wedged in the leopardess’ birth canal in December 2020.
He then took out two other cubs via a caesarean section, but the trauma of the operation resulted in them dying shortly after being born.
Despite the invasive operation Namira made a full recovery from the operation, fell pregnant again and against all odds gave birth to two healthy female cubs on 11th and 12th May 2021.
The Zoo reported that Namira is taking excellent care of the two cubs who are very healthy and enjoying spending their time exploring their enclosure.
The birth of the two female cubs, who are yet to be named, is a small step in the right direction in the fight to save their species from extinction.
Namira, who was born on 24th November 2014, had previously become a mother to two other cubs on 11th April, 2019.
The male cub which was named Amadou was given to the Pilsen Zoo in the Czech Republic while the female cub which was named Odilia moved to the Zagreb Zoo in Croatia in 2020.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) considers the North Chinese leopard to be critically endangered which meant it faces an extremely high risk of going extinct in the near future.
According to the IUCN, only 2,500 of the leopards are left in the world as habitat loss and the lack of wild prey has led to a rapid decline in their numbers.
Haag City Zoo is a member of the EAZA Ex-situ Programme (EEPs) which aims to prevent the extinction of rare animals such as the Chinese leopard.