This is the moment a cute endangered Amur leopard cub explores its outdoor surroundings with its watchful mum at a German zoo.
The cub has been named ‘Manju’, which Leipzig Zoo press officer Melanie Ginzel told Newsflash comes from India and means ‘the sweet one’.
The cub was given the name by zookeepers at the animal park in the city of Leipzig in the German state of Saxony.
The little Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) was born at the animal park on 3rd September.
Leipzig Zoo said the name Manju was unanimously decided on by zookeepers, adding that it perfectly suits the cub’s soft fur, blue eyes and large paws.
Now nearly three months old, little Manju has started exploring the Leopard Valley enclosure with mother Mia, 8.
The female cub weighs nearly five kilogrammes and is developing very well, according to the zoo.
Manju enjoys nibbling on small pieces of meat and is not afraid of exploring her new play options in the outdoor enclosure.
The zoo said the cute cub is intrigued by everything around her, including tree branches, bushes, and the rocks on the ground.
Mia also seems to enjoy playing with her fluffy little offspring and is very vigilant when Manju sneaks away.
The zoo posted footage of the blue-eyed cub frolicking with its mum in their enclosure.
The pair stalks each other in the overgrowth before Mia pins her little cub on the ground and even nibbles at Manju’s bum as it runs off.
A video clip shared earlier this month shows Manju playfully nibbling on Mia’s tail before enjoying a feed and tender cuddle.
Zoo director Professor Jorg Junhold said: “Leipzig Zoo registered Manju as the first cub to be born in Europe this year, according to the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP).
“Therefore, we are all more than pleased to be able to announce the first offspring in 2021.
“Because the rarest big cat species and the rarest mammal in the world is threatened with extinction, we have been able to make an important contribution to the conservation of the species.”
He added that Amur leopards are the rarest subspecies of leopards in the world with only between 100 and 250 specimens left in the wild.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species categorises Amur leopards as ‘critically endangered’.
The main reasons for their drop in numbers are, among other things, poaching and habitat destruction.