Rare Amur leopard cubs born at Potawatomi Zoo

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By: Krystal Vivian kvivian@953mnc.com

(Photo supplied/Potawatamie Zoo)

The Potawatomi Zoo is celebrating after three rare Amur leopards were born at the Potawatomi Zoo — the only Amur leopard cubs to survive at a zoo in America so far in 2015.

Pearl, 13, gave birth to the cubs on March 20 after mating with 17-year-old Sergei, according to a news release from the zoo. Dr. Ronan Eustance, the zoo’s staff veterinarian, gave the cubs a clean bill of health and their first round of vaccinations at their first vet checkup on May 14.

Zoo officials believe there are two female cubs and one male, but they have only been taken from their mother once for the checkup on May 14.

Keep scrolling for video of the cubs

Amur leopards are the world’s rarest big cat as there are only about 70 left in the wild and about 100 in zoos, according to the news release. Efforts to breed the leopards in captivity have had limited success.

“Over the last few years there have been few to no Amur Leopard births in North American zoos. For Potawatomi Zoo to have three of these very rare cubs born right here in South Bend is a great achievement,” Josh Sisk, the zoo’s general curator, said.