Effing cute Amur leopard baby now visible to guests at the Denver Zoo
Just when you thought baby zoo animals couldn't get any cuter (we're talking about you, baby tigers), along comes an itty-bitty leopard that changes everything. His name is Makar (pronounced Mah-car), he was born on April 25 and he is effing adorable.
The Denver Zoo has kept Makar and his cuteness from the public until now because he was only recently given a clean bill of health by zoo veterinarians and the okay to be visible to guests.
Makar is a critically endangered Amur leopard. There are less than forty of his species left in the wild. Makar was born at the Denver Zoo to mom Dazma and dad Hari-Kari. His birth was the first of the species to be born at the zoo since 1996.
See more photos of Makar below! And read fun facts about Amur leopards.
Amur leopards take their name from the Amur region located along the Chinese-Russian border. Once found from South Korea to north of the China-Russian border, Amur leopards are now nearly extinct in the wild and found along a small area in Eastern Russia. They are considered critically endangered with fewer than forty animals remaining in the wild. Poaching for fur, loss of habitat and trophy hunting are the primary reasons for their decline.
Amur leopards live further north than any other subspecies of leopard and have several adaptations for surviving in their cold, snowy climates. They have beautiful fur that is longer and paler than other leopards. In winter, it can be up to nearly three inches long! In addition, they have long legs to help them move through deep snow in search of prey. They are also agile climbers and can leap ten feet in the air. They can drag a kill up to three times their own weight into a tree to avoid competition from other predators.
Adult male Amur leopards can grow to weigh about 120 pounds and measure up to two-and-a-half feet tall at the shoulder and eight or nine feet long from head to tail. Among their tan to reddish brown bodies, they have spot patterns unlike any other leopards with large, widely spaced black spots in the form of "rosettes" on the head, back, tail and legs.More from our News archive: "Tapir escaper at the Denver Zoo! Keepers return animal within minutes."
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