Zhadi's Den

Random essays on wine, writing, moving to San Francisco, surfing, cats (exotic and otherwise) and zombies...depending on my mood.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Conjugal Visit

Amur leopards: Aijka, the mom, with her son, Sergei on one side, while Gigant, the proud father, keeps an eye -- and a paw -- on his family.

(photo by Nancy Vandermey, our website genius and photographer at EFBC)


  • At 11:52 AM, Blogger Leigh Cooper said…

    Why, why, why do people cage these gorgeous, wild creatures?

    I'll never understand.

    That sucks.

  • At 1:13 PM, Blogger zhadi said…

    Leigh, these animals are severely endangered - less than 200 in the world, less than 50 in the wild. The only way to ensure their survival at this point is to have captive breeding programs. I would suggest visiting this place before judging it - the animals there are not stressed out, have no need to run - the only reason they run in the wild is to hunt for food, otherwise they sleep up to 18 hours a day. I've volunteered there for six years and am constantly amazed at the quality of care and concern for the cats - not just their physical well being, but their emotional well being as well. Unhappy animals don't breed. And if they don't breed, they will vanish from this planet. In an ideal world, this wouldn't be necessary. But it's not ideal and the choices are severely limited.

  • At 9:09 AM, Blogger Leigh Cooper said…


    Thank you for imparting insight into this photograph. I apologize for the shot-gun comment, I just have very strong feelings about freedom for the wild creatures of the earth.

    I'm glad to know that there are organizations that are focused on preserving what was here before the human became so numerous, it/we begun the quick destruction of evolution's time-spent work.

    They are beautiful, aren't they? I love those paws...

  • At 10:30 AM, Blogger zhadi said…

    Thanks for your additional comment, Leigh! I have completely understand your feelings about wild creatures and their freedom - it's so hard to care and watch their habitats decrease all the time because of greed or ignorance. I have a really hard time with the non-interference policies in a lot of the preserves - they aren't allowed to step in and treat an injured tiger, for example, because that would be interfering with nature. Never mind all the interference that's led to the necessity for the nature preserves and monitoring of the wildlife in the first place...

    They are gorgeous - the first time I held a baby amur leopard (it had to be hand-raised as opposed to mother-raised), I cried, it was so amazing. And they all have such different personalities and expressions too...


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