The rarest big cat in the world is the amazing wild Amur Leopard. There are only 50 to 60 adults left southeastern Russia and parts of China.
This big cat lives in an area where there are very hot summers and very cold winters. You might think an animal with fur would not survive in hot summers. The Amur Leopard is different than other big cats. It's fur is short in the summer and grows long in the winter. And walking in the snow isn't hard for this leopard because it's legs are longer than all the other leopards.
At one time, hundreds of this wild leopard lived in Amur and shared it's habitat with the Amur Tiger. Now, there are so few of them, they are rarely seen in the wild. They are disappearing because hunters kill them for their fur and their bones. Their bones are used for some Chinese medicines, and their soft fur is used to make coats and rugs and furniture. And their food is disappearing. The animals they hunt like musk deer are hard to find, so they hunt the sheep and cattle raised by farmers. This causes farmers to kill them. This is how extinction starts. An animal's food disappears when people move in. The animal hunts the people's livestock. And the farmers kills the animals.
You can help save this beautiful leopard by learning more about them. To see how you can help check out World Wildlife website, or visit Boris and Kia, two Amur Leopards, at the Oregon Zoo.
Saving this leopard is important. Every animal has something to offer the world and all of us. Losing it would mean kids like me would never be able to see a real live Amur Leopard.
"Some people think this is cool, but I think it's cruel" Animalgirl