Footage from a trail camera in Land of the Leopard National Park shows the young leopardess Bary frolicking and rolling in the grass for hours on end. The high-resolution camera and wide angle enabled park employees to make a striking video clip.
The unique footage of Bary was obtained in spring: the leopardess frolics on the bank of the Kedrovka River, approaches the trail camera and even paws at it several times as if to adjust the angle.
Bary's behaviour struck researchers as atypical for a female leopard. "Such playful behaviour is more often seen in males. Females are often more reserved. This is, in fact, the first time we've seen a ‘girl' behave that way. To a large extent, this has to do with Bary's young age — she is around two and a half years old. But there is a clear practical purpose to this ‘dance': when a cat rubs herself against a tree, it leaves scent marks that send messages to other animals, including male leopards," Anna Vitkalova, head of the research department at Land of the Leopard, said.
"This video will especially delight fans of the Spotted Family and Spotted Family 2 web series who felt for the most helpless of the three cubs in the litter, who suffered a paw injury at an early age," said Vasiliy Solkin, Head of Public Relations, Deputy Director at the WWF Russia Amur branch, who directed the series. "Because on the screen they will see that very same cub, now a lovely female worthy of the title Miss Land of the Leopard-2015!"