Photos I took at Brookfield Zoo outside Chicago on February 24, 2008. This is an Amur Leopard. They are native to southeastern Russia, northeastern China, and the Korean peninsula. They are CRITICALLY ENDANGERED - the next step is Extinct in the Wild. A few facts I looked up: A count in 2007 found only 19-26 animals living in the wild. There were 176 individuals in zoos worldwide as of the end of 2011, and these individuals were all born in captivity from breeding stock established in the early 60's from 9 wild-born founders. The dangers they face in the wild include poaching, encroaching civilization, climate change, tigers, and inbreeding. There has been significant support within the Russian government to establish suitable habitats to attempt wild re-population. I, for one, hope that happens. They are stunning animals.
I used the September Monthly Sketch Challenge 30-day Sketch-a-thon Day 12 sketch.
I wanted to keep this one pretty simple to highlight the photos. TFL