Two furry, spotted additions to the Minnesota Zoo are part of a worldwide effort to bring back Amur leopards, a critically endangered cat whose numbers in the wild have dwindled to less than 40.
The cubs were born May 29 to Polina and Chobby, Amur leopards that are part of the Russia's Grizzly Coast exhibit at the zoo. It's not yet known whether the cubs are male or female.
It will be a few months before the cubs are on display; they are being given time to bond with their mom and build strength, the zoo said.
This is the first litter of Amur leopards at the Minnesota Zoo since 1995. Reproduction by the leopards is coordinated across the globe under a Species Survival Plan through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Amur leopards are native to the cold, snowy forests in eastern Asia. Their population has dwindled because of poaching, habitat destruction and a declining supply of deer -- the leopard's main source of food -- in the region.