Source: Santa Barbara Zoo
Marta, the almost three-month-old Amur leopard cub made her public debut [Thursday] morning for just about an hour, to begin getting used to her outdoor habitat. Marta will spend the next 7–10 days getting comfortable, slowly increasing time in front of the public, with mom Ajax nearby. Please enjoy what is paw-sibly the cutest video ever, along with photos of Marta with mother Ajax in her new habitat here: https://sbzoo.canto.com/b/O79KC
Zookeepers expect Marta and Ajax to be more consistently visible by the second weekend in November, most likely in the mornings until around 1pm. Kasha, Marta’s dad, will then move into the space in the afternoons. As the needs of the leopard family change, so does the management of their care. The family may take turns being out or behind the scenes, and while Marta gets comfortable in the habitat, you might see her, but she may be taking a break in her den or hiding.
Marta is the first Amur leopard to be born at the Santa Barbara Zoo in more than 20 years. Her mother, Ajax, is the most genetically valuable female Amur leopard in North America currently, so this first cub from her will contribute valuable genetics to the population in human care. Amur leopards are the most endangered of all the big cats, with less than 100 remaining in the wild.