Oh, Baby!

By Nick Masuda   |   July 22, 2021
Ajax, one of the Santa Barbara Zoo’s two Amur leopards, is pregnant

So, who’s throwing the baby shower?

The Santa Barbara Zoo announced that Ajax, a female Amur leopard, is pregnant — the first time for the critically endangered species in more than 20 years for the Zoo.

As the most endangered of all big cats, the conservation efforts are critical, so this news sent positive shockwaves around the Zoo community.

“Breeding Amur leopards is complicated and challenging, and our team has worked really hard to help Ajax get pregnant,” said Dr. Julie Barnes, vice president of animal care and health at the zoo.

This is the first pregnancy for Ajax, while the fourth litter for Kasha, the male amur leopard that arrived in March 2020 with breeding as a primary goal.

The gestation time is roughly 90-100 days.

“Big cat births can have unpredictable outcomes, especially with first time mothers. Providing her with an appropriate denning area and undisturbed time to bond with her cubs is an important part of this process,” Barnes said.


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