The Santa Barbara Zoo introduced a new male Amur leopard to the public on Wednesday.
Kasha, who is 9½ years old, arrived in March at the zoo, just prior to the coronavirus closure, and is now beginning the process of being introduced to his potential mate Ajax, the zoo’s female Amur leopard.
The two have a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Amur leopards are the most endangered big cats in the world, according to the Santa Barbara Zoo.
“We are excited for everyone to finally have the chance to meet Kasha now!” Rachel Ritchason, director of animal collections at the Santa Barbara Zoo, said in a news release.
“As an older leopard, Kasha is very calm and comes with a lot of experience, having had a mate before. Animal keepers say that Kasha is very smart and careful in how he moves and explores his spaces.”
While Kasha continues to get comfortable in his new surroundings and introductions with Ajax continue, Ajax and Kasha will rotate spending time on the exhibit, so he may not be visible to the public depending on the day.
— Jorge Mercado