WATCH: Rare Pair Of Leopard Cubs Get To Know Their New Surroundings

June 4, 2018
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By Kayla Jardine/Joe Cingrana

These leopard cubs are having a roaring good time playing together at the San Diego Zoo!

Zoo staff just welcomed two adorable Amur leopards who are already exploring and enjoying their surroundings. 

We're delighted to introduce the *first-ever* critically endangered Amur leopard cubs born at the Zoo. WARNING: This video contains insane levels of cute. Prepare to squee and turn up the volume. #leopardcubs #endangeredspecies #endextinction #offthechartscute #sandiegozoo

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Their four-year-old mother Saatka is the first leopard to give birth at the zoo since the rare species, listed as "Critically Endangered" by the World Wildlife Foundation, arrived in 2011.

Zoo staff are current;y letting mom and her babies bond before they start having any real contact with them, so the little family has been inseparable.

In an Instagram post, the zoo explains how for the past seven years animal care staff has worked to gain management experience with this species, "transporting cats from Europe to North America for approved breeding as part of the Global Species Management Program (GSMP)—an international conservation effort in which scientists work to increase regional animal populations. Less than 70 #AmurLeopards have been documented in their native habitat, the Primorye region of the Russian Far East, making them the rarest big cat species on the planet. These mostly solitary animals were once found in northeastern China, Russia and the Korean peninsula, but those populations have been decimated, due to loss of habitat and poaching for their thick, spotted coats."

For the past seven years, animal care staff has worked to gain management experience with this species, transporting cats from Europe to North America for approved breeding as part of the Global Species Management Program (GSMP)—an international conservation effort in which scientists work to increase regional animal populations. Less than 70 #AmurLeopards have been documented in their native habitat, the Primorye region of the Russian Far East, making them the rarest big cat species on the planet. These mostly solitary animals were once found in northeastern China, Russia and the Korean peninsula, but those populations have been decimated, due to loss of habitat and poaching for their thick, spotted coats. #EndExtinction

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We can’t wait to watch these adorable cubs grow up!

#Caturday conservation cubdate: With only about 60 #AmurLeopards left in their native habitat, each birth is a shining ray of hope for this critically endangered species. #EndExtinction (--: Debbie Beals)

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