A PAIR of Sri Lankan leopards called Uda and Okanda(pictured above) have a new home at Bioparc Fuengirola after transferring there from French zoos.
The Sri Lankan leopard originates from the island of the same name and is in danger of becoming extinct, with less than 800 left in the jungle.
Numbers have fallen due to poaching and the destruction of their natural habitat, namely rainforests.
The Bioparc has hosted several pairs of Sri Lankan leopards since 2001, the last ones being Toñi- an elderly female who died of kidney disease two years ago- and a male called Tissa who has a new home at Bratislava zoo.
The new male Uda comes from Cerza zoo in France, and at almost three years old is about to reach maturity.
He is in good condition to start mating with Okanda who has arrived from Maubeuge zoo.
Although shyer than the male, Okanda is beginning to interact with Uda according to their caregivers.
The arrival of any new member at the Bioparc means a process of adaptation and training to ensure that animals do not suffer any stress and that the whole process is successful.
This adaptation period involves their familiarisation with the indoor and outdoor facilities, diets and, their new team of caregivers.
Antonio Garrucho, head of Zoology at Bioparc Fuengirola: “With the female, we are working on basic management, movements between rest areas and her outdoor patio, in order to train her in her daily handling of exiting and entering her new facility.”
“The next step will be to let her know the outside and to interact with the male,” he added.
Over the last few days, visitors have been able to see the young leopards exploring their outdoor facilities and even playing ‘hide and seek’ with each other.