The Amur leopard is officially recognized as ‘critically endangered’ yet the numbers in the wild have risen from as low as 30 in 2007 to around 80 now. This came after a ‘baby boom’ among the leopards in the national park set up to protect them from poaching which had driven them to the brink of extinction as a wild animal.
The rare cat, one of only a few dozen living in the wild, was struck this week by a car in Primorsky region, near Kravtsovka village. The female lay on the road long enough for pictures to be taken by passing motorists. Then she fled into the forest but there are concerns that the big cat is wounded.
She was recognised as ‘Killy’ from pictures taken at the site before leaving the scene of the accident.
Searches of surrounding territory failed to locate the leopardess, but now there is a watch for her on photo-traps in an attempt to assess her condition after the collision.
Ivan Rakov, spokesman for the national park, said: ‘We have stopped active phase of search for wounded Killy, we’re now in the passive stage. It means that experts will be carefully checking pictures taken by photo-traps and cameras to identify Killy among them, and to understand what’s happening to her.
‘Clearly it won’t be easy because this three year old leopard is known for her secretive behaviour.’
Source: Siberian Times