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Baby Amur leopard makes debut at Santa Barbara Zoo

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Posted at 2:12 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 17:12:21-04

The Santa Barbara Zoo has announced the first public appearance of the zoo's 3-month old Amur leopard.

Marta, the leopard cub born Aug. 6, visited her outdoor habitat Thursday morning for about an hour.

Zoo officials say that in the upcoming seven to 10 days, the cub will slowly increase time spent in the habitat. Ajax, the cub's mother, will be nearby as the two get used to the outdoor habitat.

For the first few months after Marta was born, the mother and cub stayed behind the scenes during a time zookeepers called the "critical bonding period."

By the second weekend in November, zookeepers say the two leopards will likely be visible in the enclosure in the mornings until 1 p.m.

In the afternoons, Kasha, the cub's father, will be in the space in the afternoons.

Marta is the first Amur leopard to be born at the Santa Barbara Zoo in over 20 years.

Amur leopards are the most endangered of all the big cats, the zoo says. Less than 100 remain in the wild.