The Far Eastern leopard Leo 13 has been named Sikhote-Alin. The right to name it was given to scientists from the Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve, which will mark 80 years since its establishment in 2015.
Dmitry Gorshkov, director of the Sikhote-Alin Reserve, received a Leopard Keeper certificate and a photo of Leo 13 from Land of the Leopard Director Tatyana Baranovskaya during the reserve's anniversary celebrations.
"Having a leopard named Sikhote-Alin in the national park is a sign of our respect and willingness to cooperate with our colleagues. Furthermore, we hope the life of Leo 13 will be as long and interesting as the history of its keeper, the Sikhote-Alin Reserve. We congratulate our colleagues on the reserve's anniversary and wish them success in all spheres," Tatyana Baranovskaya said.
The Sikhote-Alin Biosphere Reserve staff said they were surprised but happy to be given this present. "It is an unusual and a very nice present. Next on our list is to have a star, a plane and a ship named after the reserve. These surprises benefit both Specially Protected Natural Areas (SPNA) and the leopards and tigers, as this is a way to attract public attention to their conservation. We hope one of the tigers in our reserve will be named by the Land of the Leopard staff soon," Dmitry Gorshkov said.
Leo 13 is about five years old. Although the leopard has been photographed many times, it's still unclear if it is male or female. However, some of the park's scientists believe that it is a male, based on the leopard's activity and size.