A Central Asian leopard named Chilmas from the Sochi National Park was released into its natural habitat on July 22. The male was born in 2021 at the Leopard Rehabilitation Center and will now live on the territory of the Turmon Nature Reserve in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania.
Chilmas successfully passed exam tests showing the predator’s ability to survive independently in its natural environment, the press service reported. Sochi National Park. According to the commission’s conclusion, the predator is in excellent physical shape, and has developed a stable reaction to avoid humans and domestic animals.
— Chilmas is well built and physically healthy. In addition, he became our record holder. The handsome man’s weight is 61 kg — the highest figure among his predecessors, – noted veterinarian Mikhail Alshinetsky.
A week earlier, the male’s sister, Achipse, was released into the territory of the Caucasus Biosphere Reserve. These kittens are the first litter of the pair Shiva and Philou, who arrived at the Center in 2020 from the Swedish Zoo under an exchange program. Female Shiva gave birth to a new kitten 20 days ago.
— There are now 11 Central Asian leopards living in the Caucasus Mountains. Release of leopards into the natural environment — a very significant event. This is the result of the titanic work of scientists, reserve system experts, veterinarians, ministry workers, volunteers and many other specialists. We must give the spotted cat of the Caucasus as many chances as possible to survive: help the Center, preserve unique mountain ecosystems, provide a food supply and not interfere. These are the tasks that we are solving today in a comprehensive manner.,” commented the head of the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources, Alexander Kozlov.
Central Asian leopard (Caucasian leopard) is the largest subspecies of leopard in the world and is endangered. Russian Geographical Society supports program for restoring the population of the Central Asian leopard in the Caucasus since 2012. Grants from the Russian Geographical Society helped work on breeding predators and preparing them for life in the wild, and also made it possible to create a significant scientific base in this area. Research to identify areas suitable for the species to live has become especially important.
On August 20, 2020, on the occasion of the 175th anniversary of the Russian Geographical Society, a release of male Kodor and female Laba into the wild. The ceremony was attended by Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia Elena Panova, Chairman of the Krasnodar regional branch of the Russian Geographical Society Ivan Chaika, UN Goodwill Ambassador and renowned hockey player Vyacheslav Fetisov, Director of the Caucasus Nature Reserve Sergei Shevelev, Director of the Sochi National Park Pavel Khotsenko.