A Rare Amur Leopard Cub Was Just Born in Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara Zoo
A rare Amur leopard was born at the Santa Barbara Zoo at 4:05 a.m. on Aug. 6.
Santa Barbara Zoo
The zoo shared the baby's name in its Aug. 11 announcement on social media: "Given the name Marta by her Premier Foster Feeder sponsors, Marta Holsman Babson and Henrietta Holsman Fore, she is the first Amur leopard cub born at the Zoo in 20 years."
Santa Barbara Zoo
This is the first baby for mom Ajax. "Since Ajax is the most genetically valuable female Amur leopard in North America, this first cub will contribute valuable genetics to the population. The Zoo has been attempting to breed for several years as part of the conservation of this species, whose population in human care is important for future reintroduction efforts," shared the zoo.
Santa Barbara Zoo
Both Marta and her mom will spend time bonding out of the public eye, so you'll want to plan on seeing her down the road (watch the zoo's social pages for debut announcements).
Santa Barbara Zoo
Marta, "the first Amur leopard born at the zoo in over 20 years," weighed in at 1.1 pounds.
Santa Barbara Zoo
"Based on video monitoring, the cub appeared strong and active after birth," said Dr. Julie Barnes, the Zoo's Vice President of Animal Care & Health. "Unfortunately we did not see any confirmed nursing within the first 12 hours after birth, so the cub required some supportive care. Ajax was separated briefly from the cub and then reunited. Nursing was observed a few hours later."
Santa Barbara Zoo
"Ajax seems to be settling into motherhood well and is exhibiting good maternal behavior so far. The first week is a critical period for cub survival. If all goes well, we will leave mother and cub alone to bond during this time and continue monitoring them closely by video." For more news on Marta, watch the Santa Barbara Zoo's social pages in the weeks ahead.
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