Land of the Leopard researchers captured unique images of the leopardess Bary (Leo 4F) and her two cubs using trail cameras installed at Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve. The cubs were filmed inside the cave while their mother was spotted at the entrance to the grotto.
It was Bary's first litter. The video indicates that both the cubs and the leopardess are healthy. The offspring are about four months old. Now Bary is hunting for food for her cubs and teaching them hunting basics.
"We got a wonderful surprise when we retrieved the long-awaited images of Bary and her cubs. When we realised who was in the video, we were thrilled. It was the first time we have managed to find out about this female cat's relationship status. <…> I believe that this video is the beginning of a new exciting story," said Land of the Leopard engineer researcher Viktor Storozhuk.
Interestingly, the researchers who installed the camera traps outside the cave were curious about a completely different animal. Not so long before Bary's appearance with her litter, the small grotto was visited by an Amur tiger whose paw prints got the attention of the park's researchers. The visit means that the new mother's life cannot be described as undisturbed. Although Bary looks relaxed, she has to be very secretive. To keep the cubs alive, the female must attract as little attention as possible. The newborns have many enemies in the wild.
The researchers have been following Bary's fate since she was born. Her mother is Kedrovka, the cat that has long been the matriarch of the Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve. Kedrovka and Bary became national celebrities in 2014 when they starred in the Spotted Family documentary series. Later, the grown-up Bary was captured doing her famous dance in front of a trail camera. This young leopardess has also been chosen for photo shoots by professional photographers Gennady Yusin and Nikolai Zinovyev. Now Bary is about four years old.