Pair of Amur leopard cubs make their debut at Hogle Zoo

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Hogle Zoo is introducing everyone to two new Amur Leopard cubs: Roman and Rafferty.

They were born in February, and now they weigh about 13 to 15 pounds and gain about one pound a day.

The Amur leopard is on the brink of extinction in the wild.

“These are critically endangered leopards from far northeast China and Russia, very small area called the Amur River Valley,” said Stephanie Natt, one of the zoo’s lead keepers. “There is approximately 60 individuals left in the wild, so this birth is very significant so that one day we can protect their wild spaces and maybe put a population back.”

Wildlife research suggests there are even less than 60 left. According to WWF.panda.org, there are only about 12 left in China and 25 left in Russia. The leopards were poached for decades for their unique spotted fur.

Roman and Rafferty look alike, but have some recognizable differences. Roman has a white front paw and his spots are more condensed, while Rafferty has a bigger head and his right paw is partially white with some grey toes.

If you want to see Roman and Rafferty, you can visit them at the Hogle Zoo.