Spotted results of the year
30 December 2017

Spotted results of the year

Friends, tomorrow we will ring in the New Year and wish each other happiness, success and luck. But before the clock strikes midnight, let’s take a look back at all the interesting and exciting events of 2017.

Russia proclaimed this year the Year of the Environment, and naturally we could not stand on the sidelines: since January, we have held campaigns and events devoted to Far Eastern leopards and raised awareness about environmental issues and the preservation of unique animals in Russia. We held the Environmental Treasures of Russia exhibition at the State Duma and took part in the fourth Russia’s Primeval Nature festival. We also organised an open lesson at a school and told students about the wonderful rescue of the leopard Leo 80M and about our work to preserve the Far Eastern leopard population.


© RIA Novosti, Vitaly Ankov


At the end of February, the Far Eastern leopard took flight: Rossiya Airlines unveiled a Boeing 777-300 aircraft with a Far Eastern leopard face painted on its nose. The leo-craft, as the airline’s staff called it, now makes flights all over Russia. Both young and adult passengers take selfies with it and also learn that leopards live not only in Africa, but also in the Russian Far East.


© RIA Novosti, Vitaly Ankov


Another leopard was painted on a wall: a Far Eastern leopard is now looking down on Vladivostok from Orlinoye Gnezdo (Eagle's Nest) Hill. We held this campaign together with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). The graffiti mural was painted by South African graffiti artist Sonny as part of the To The Bone global initiative. Vladivostok residents and tourists took a liking to the image, and we recommend that you do not miss the opportunity to take a selfie with it while in Vladivostok.


© Alexandra Agranat


On 27 August, we invited everyone to a major spotted festival: Leopard Day took place in Moscow’s Krasnaya Presnya Park and brought together 30,000 people. The guests enjoyed sports and cooking workshops, a concert and a fascinating quest with prizes. By the way, the main prize was the right to name an unnamed leopardess. The female leopard Leo 54F received the beautiful name Bela.

Four more leopards got names and keepers this year. The leopardess Leo 73F was named Leia by her keepers, the Primorochka volleyball club. The names Aurora, Manchur and Katyusha also went to leopards at Land of the Leopard.


© RIA Novosti. Evgeniy Biyatov


The Eastern Economic Forum took place in Vladivostok for the third time in September, featuring the traditional charity run to support rare cats and a charity auction in support of projects to preserve endangered and rare animal species of the Far East.


© Ekaterina Sytina


Land of the Leopard marked its fifth anniversary. With the joint efforts of inspectors, researchers, volunteers and local residents this protected area is prospering. This year, the national park opened a new eco-trail, Leopard Trail, and finished the construction of its central compound, which now hosts a major centre for Far Eastern leopard conservation.

Unfortunately, there was sad news too. Yury Shibnev, the longest-serving employee at the Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve, passed away. He was an expert in Far Eastern wildlife and the photographer who took the very first pictures of a Far Eastern leopard in its natural habitat.

Researchers at Land of the Leopard National Park obtained several unique photos and videos from camera traps. In the beginning of the year, the first video of a leopard using the new passage over the Narvinsky Tunnel was recorded. The leopard walked along Russia’s first eco-tunnel, paying no attention to the headlights and car engines.


© Land of the Leopard press service


In the Kedrovaya Pad Nature Reserve, trail cameras captured unique footage of Bary and her cubs. This was the first litter for the “dancing” leopardess. Steven Seagal’s “goddaughter,” Queen Borte, also became a mother this year.

For the first time, video was taken of leopards’ mating games, and a Far Eastern leopard’s voice was recorded in the wild. Typhoon, the master of Kedrovaya Pad, showed off his roaring skills.


© Land of the Leopard press service


Experts in the northern part of the national park also received curious images of a Far Eastern leopard, an Amur tiger, a lynx and an Amur leopard cat. All four were captured by camera traps on one of the trails within a few days’ time. Later, a camera trap recorded a unique video near a cave: the leopardess Leo 83F and a male Amur tiger were spotted at the cave entrance. The rare cats visited the cave five days apart. It seems that Land of the Leopard rightly bears the unofficial title of the area with the largest wild cat population in Russia.


© Land of the Leopard press service


A true miracle happened prior to the New Year: Killy, who was hit by car on a motorway in Primorye, was found alive. Trail cameras captured images of the leopardess, and she looked quite healthy.

The outgoing year was interesting and full of news, but more is yet to come. We will keep following the life of the only Far Eastern leopard population in the wild. We hope that you have learned more about these wonderful cats and found your favourite ones among the Land of the Leopard inhabitants.

We are happy to receive your questions and comments on social networks and believe that by sharing information about Far Eastern leopards we help to preserve the world’s rarest cat.

See you next year!

Far Eastern Leopards autonomous non-profit organisation