A 12-month-old Far Eastern leopard cub with an injured paw was found in Land of the Leopard National Park. The cub apparently got caught in a poacher's trap or loop, severing toes. Specialists acknowledge that the accident may have happened outside Russia, as the cub was found near the border with China.
Russian border guards spotted the injured leopard and reported it to Land of the Leopard National Park. The park's staffers teamed up with experts from the local division of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Nadezhdinskaya Veterinary Station to provide emergency medical assistance to the cub. They injected the animal with a tranquilliser and carried it to The Center for Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals in the village of Alekseyevka. An examination of the cub showed that four toes on its front paw were missing, so the cub had been unable to hunt for several weeks.
"To save the leopard veterinary surgeons had to operate on it. At present the cub's condition is stable and its chances of survival are good," said Yelena Salmanova, deputy director for research at the national park.
Veterinarians from around the world have been asked to take part in an online discussion of the cub's treatment. Scientists at the park are being consulted online by leading specialists with experience treating big cats, including the chief veterinarian of the Moscow Zoo.