Photo: Alexei Nikolsky / RIA Novosti / Kremlin
Three adults Persian leopards bred in captivity have been released in the northern parts of the Russian Caucasus, writes MTI
The predators were native in this part of the world long ago, but due to intensive hunting the leopard population significantly decreased in the region.
The Russians, however, refused to let the animal go extinct; they launched a rescue program by importing Persian leopard specimens from Turkmenistan and Iran to propagate them in captivity - later, the leopards will be released into the wild.
According to experts, at least 50 specimen should be introduced into a specific region to help the species successfully propagate and establish itself in the new environment; this is exactly what Russian experts are aiming for; their efforts is supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Conservationists estimate that the Persian leopard population around the world is approximately, one thousand.
The species has disappeared from Russia, Turkey and Georgia due to hunting and shrinking of natural habitat (deforestation).
(MTI - index.hu - hungarianambiance.com)