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'Siberia is so big, it’s almost more an idea than a place'

Wonderful footage of rare big cats in mating ritual captured in Siberia

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13 March 2015


Female Amur leopard Kedrovka. Picture: Nikolay Zinovyev/Land of Leopard 

It seems spring is finally in the air, at least for some of the rarest big cats in the world. Staff at a Siberian park have captured footage of two Amur leopards in the mood for love with a unique video of them in the midst of a mating game.

The truly amazing action was recorded unexpectedly at the Land of the Leopard National Park, in the Primorsky Province, using a newly installed video trap in the Kedrovaya Pad reserve.

It is the first time that cameras have seen the mating games of the endangered species in the wild.

'Previously it was virtually impossible to study the mating behaviour of these cats in the wild, due to their extreme secrecy,' said Elena Salmanova, Deputy Director of the Land of the Leopard State Organization.

'Only after getting the automatic video traps the researchers managed to lift part of the 'veil of secrecy'. However, it took two years from the beginning of the project of photo monitoring to shoot such a rare episode in the life of the Amur leopards.'

Amur leopards

Amur leopards

Amur leopards

Amur leopards

Berry passes around him a few times, spinning in front of him and even touching him during the courtship but Meamur remains impregnable. Picture: Land of Leopard 

The video shows the male leopard, Meamur, lying down to rest under a rock following a meal of venison. Alongside him appears the young female, Berry.

At the first sight it seems as if she was surprised at meeting him and even growls, but after a few minutes she comes to closer to Meamur. Then it becomes clear that she is friendly, actively tumbling in front of him in the snow.

Perhaps Meamur is confused by the youth and inexperience of the female leopard, or maybe he is too busy digesting his dinner, but he does not respond to Berry’s flirting.

She passes around him a few times, spinning in front of him and even touching him during the courtship but Meamur remains impregnable.

The flirting continued until late into the evening, and leopards left, and it is not known what happened between them after that but there is a good chance they did get together and a new breed of cubs will be born.

Staff hope that Berry will be no less prolific than her mother Kedrovka in producing offspring.

Scientists involved in the research of the Amur leopard have been waiting for such a video for decades and are said to be delighted by the footage.

Comments (1)

Go Berry..., Go Meamur... to have baby Leopard ! Good video, thank
Jocelyne, FRANCE
14/03/2015 02:34

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