Trail cameras at Vorontsov Land of the Leopard National Park have photographed the Far Eastern leopardess Queen Borte (Leo 16F), whose keeper is actor Steven Seagal, with two cubs. This is at least the third litter of the leopardess.
American actor, director and producer Steven Seagal became the keeper of Leo 16F in September 2015 during his visit to Vladivostok. Seagal named the leopardess after Genghis Khan's first wife, famous for her nine children. Several months later, Queen Borte was seen with three cubs. In autumn 2017, the spotted cat was again sighted with a cub.
The images of the leopard family were taken by a trail camera in April and retrieved by Land of the Leopard experts during a routine camera check. According to the photos, the matriarch was the first to walk past the camera, followed by one and then the other cub. The cubs were photographed several times as they explored the area.
"The cubs are approximately 8-10 months old," said Anna Vitkalova, head of the research department at Land of the Leopard. "Given that this was the first time they were caught on camera, their mother did a good job hiding them by avoiding common animal paths where camera traps are installed. This behaviour shows her good maternal instinct, which has allowed Leo 16F to successfully raise three generations of cubs."
In the next few months, Queen Borte's cubs will leave their mother and receive ID numbers in the Land of the Leopard database. Two of Leo 16F's daughters, born in 2016 and 2017 — Leo 110F and Leo 114F — are regularly spotted by trail cameras in the national park.