The first hints
of a leopard in the Caucasus Wildlife Refuge date from spring 2012, when rangers found foot prints in the snow. They were later identified by experts as typical for a big cat—most probably a leopard.
That summer, experts from the Armenian NGO, Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) started a systematic investigation of all areas of the refuge considered “leopard friendly”. They collected scat and pieces of fur found on thorny shrubs. Though the experts were sure that the samples came from a leopard, final confirmation could only be proved by genetic analysis.
Genetic tests of the samples conducted at the Tisch Family Zoological Gardens in Jerusalem recently confirmed that they are indeed from a rare Caucasian Leopard, also called the Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor). The news confirms what field experts have believed but had been unable to prove, that this highly…
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