A Far Eastern leopard cub with the designation Leo 80M, who lost three of his toes after getting caught in a poachers' trap, is making a good recovery. Further medical tests showed that the cub was healthy. Leo 80M is being kept in a closed cage at the Center for Rehabilitation and Reintroduction of Tigers and Other Rare Animals, but he will be transferred soon to a spacious open-air enclosure.
Leo 80M is active and has a good appetite. Researchers say he reacts aggressively when approached by humans, which is normal for a wild cat in captivity. This week, he received two live rabbits on top of his daily meat ration, which he dispatched quickly despite the injured paw. The move to the specially designed enclosure should come next week. In addition to rabbits, young deer will also be released into the new enclosure to make sure Leo 80M is capable of hunting on his own back in the wild.
"We are happy to see our spotted patient recovering at a good pace," Anna Vitkalova, head of the research department at Land of the Leopard, said. "Though he suffered a serious trauma, he is not limping. Today we are confident that his life is no longer in danger. During the next stage of rehabilitation he will adapt to surroundings that resemble his natural habitat as closely as possible, where he will hunt large prey on his own."