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Endangered Amur Leopard named Fredo heads to Dartmoor Zoo

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Endangered Amur Leopard named Fredo heads to Dartmoor Zoo

Dartmoor Zoo is ready to open its gates to the rarest cat in the world…

The long-awaited Amur Leopard arrival date has been confirmed. Dartmoor Zoo is ready to open its gates to a new resident later today, Tuesday 14th November 2023.

Arriving from Bellewaerde in Belgium, Dartmoor Zoo will be welcoming a new resident, the critically endangered Amur Leopard named Fredo (pronounced Fray-doh) which translates to ‘cold’ or ‘chilly’ to represent his habitat and their adaptability to thrive in cold climates. With less than 100 left in the wild, they are considered the rarest cat in the world.

Dartmoor Zoo’s CEO Benjamin Mee:

“We are incredibly excited about the arrival of Fredo. The team at Dartmoor Zoo have been working extremely hard to make this vision a reality and to have an arrival date in our sights is fantastic.  Although captive born, Fredo is vital in assisting with the preservation and education of this critically endangered species, ensuring their survival for many generations to come. Our next steps will focus on finding a suitable female match for a potential breeding recommendation, further promoting genetic diversity. With many challenges facing these wonderful animals such as poaching and habitat loss, we are honoured to play a part in the global conservation efforts to protect this species from extinction.”

Arriving late in the UK last night (Monday 13th), the team at the zoo anticipate his arrival later today, where their dedicated team will be working to help Fredo get into his new enclosure and settle into his new surroundings as smoothly as possible. At 9 years old and described as a “sassy boy”, the team say that they’re ‘eager to welcome this long-awaited and new personality onto our site’.

The move has been recommended by the EEP – European Endangered Programme – to promote genetic diversity whilst breeding, so long term, we would work towards finding a female match for Fredo. By doing this, we would be further continuing the hard work that zoos around the globe have been collaborating on, by protecting this species which is near extinction. Zoos have been vital in raising the numbers from a dwindling 20 – 30, back to around 100 in the wild and over 200 in captivity.”

After monitoring Fredo’s behaviour to ensure he has adjusted well to the move and his new enclosure, details will be announced to the public as to when his enclosure will be open for viewing.

Dartmoor Zoo’s Curator Scott Chambers:

“While creating Fredo’s enclosure, we wanted to ensure that he was surrounded by a slice of Siberia. Everything that has been selected, is with his adjustment and ease of move in mind. We have teamed up with Grow 4 Good South West to source Siberian Elms, Larches, Boxwoods and a Flowering Cherry tree, all of which have been scattered through the bank, to simulate a mountainous forest and replicate a natural territory.”

Without local businesses and public support, this endeavour would not have been possible the zoo notes.

“So, it is with honourable mention the public supporters are thanked for their incredible contribution of £6576, Meddings for their contribution of the enclosure’s development, Arc Metals for their contribution of the enclosure’s steel window frame, and to Devon Contract Waste, Zoo Trips and Helpful Holidays for their incredibly generous financial contributions.” – Zoo statement

To find out more about Dartmoor Zoo visit www.dartmoorzoo.org.uk.

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