Ajax

  • Born May 2014 at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire, England
  • Arrived at Santa Barbara Zoo in August 2016 to diversify the gene pool of Amur leopards in North America
  • Is a climber – loves to be up high, on the ledges and rock wall
  • Has a round face with an upside down “v” between her eyes, and only one large spot between the large dark marks above her eyes

Wyatt

  • Born at the Denver Zoo in April 2012
  • Arrived at Santa Barbara Zoo in July 2013
  • Likes the middle platform and the “tree”
  • Is sleek, with five small dots across his nose (no upside down “v”)
FROM THE KEEPERS

“Ajax and Wyatt are now choosing to live together continuously throughout the day and night. We only separate them for a short time when they are eating, but otherwise they have access to each other and the full facility at all times. It has been great to watch Ajax become more confident and in charge, and Wyatt to respond to her so well. They have both matured a lot since meeting each other and we are lucky to get to watch their bond develop.”

Michele Green, Curator of Mammals

What’s in a Name?

They’ve been called the Korean leopard, Far East leopard, and Manchurian leopard – all echo their historic ranges, which span the Korean Peninsula into northeast China’s Jilin and Heilongjiang Provinces, and across the border into the Russian Far East and Amur River basin, from which the species now takes its name. That region – and the species’ name – is pronounced “AH-moor,” rather than “AY-murr.”

Conservation Status

Only around 50 Amur leopards are estimated to remain in the wild, in a small area between Vladivostok, Russia, and the Chinese border, along with a few scattered individuals in China.

Approximately 200 Amur leopards are in captivity, primarily in zoos in North America, Europe, and former Soviet Union countries.

But there’s good news: Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources has approved a reintroduction program in a preserve in the southeastern tip of Russia. Pairs of breeding Amur leopards from zoos will be relocated to Russia, and hopes are that the wild population will increase in the next 20 years.

Use Certified Lumber!

In today’s global economy, much of the wood we use comes from forests around the world. You can help forest-dwelling animals by choosing lumber and paper products made using sustainable practices. For more information, please visit the Forest Stewardship Council.