The Chinese border guard service camera traps have captured a family of Far Eastern leopards near the Russian-Chinese border. The video shows an adult female leopard with two 12-month old cubs strolling along a trace strip close to the Chinese side of the border. Scientists from Land of the Leopard National Park examined the footage and decided that it shows a female leopard Leo 125Un and her cubs.
Chinese border guards spotted the adult female leopard and her 12-month old cubs near the Kraskino-Hunchun checkpoint, right next to Land of the Leopard National Park.
Video: CGTN TV Channel
"Land of the Leopard accommodates most of the Far Eastern leopard population that continues to increase steadily. Naturally, this compels leopards to move into new areas. Although China has some animal-friendly territories, its habitats are less comfortable," Yelena Shevtsova, deputy director for research at Vorontsov Land of the Leopard National Park, said.
By studying the adult cat's spot patterns, the national park's experts identified her as Leo 125Un. The park's database has been listing her since 2017, but the animal's gender was not known prior to the video. The leopardess is about three years old, and scientists believe she has given birth for the first time.
According to workers from Land of the Leopard research department, Leo 125Un was born in Russia and now lives on the border between the two countries, crossing it at will with her cubs.
International surveys say that China's Far Eastern leopard population is low. An overwhelming majority of predators are "tourists" mostly living in Russia. A programme for establishing the Northeast Tiger and Leopard National Park has already been approved. The specially protected nature area is to include the Hunchun, Wangchin, Suyang and Tianzaolin nature reserves, as well as sections of ten forestries in the Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces, with a total area of 1.5 million hectares.