There is unfortunately only one leopard subspecies left in Russia – the Far Eastern leopard. A relation, the Middle Eastern leopard, used to live at the same latitude in the Caucasus. However, despite regular reports of tracks found and even encounters with leopards in the area, the species is considered extinct and there is no chance of reintroducing it. The Far Eastern leopard is also now facing extinction. The body of the Far Eastern leopard varies between 90 and 170 cm in length and up to 60 kg in weight, and its tail can reach up to 100 cm. This is the northernmost leopard subspecies, and the only one in the world adapted to survive long snowy winters.
An international team led by biologists from the Wildlife Conservation Society had captured a species last week that carries the dubious distinction of being the world's most endangered big cat: an extremely Far Eastern leopard. One of only 30 left in the wild, the animal was captured in a "trapline" -- a series of snares set out by scientists to temporarily catch big cats for genetic analysis. And this my friends was in 2006! Thank you Sveta for sending me this lovely card with the picture of this rare animal.