Mistaken identity – Putin not releasing snow leopards

 
Persian leopard about to be released into a reserve near Sochin, Russia as PM Vladimir Putin looks on. Photo by AP, Alexei Druzhinin.
Persian leopard about to be released into a reserve near Sochin, Russia as PM Vladimir Putin looks on. Photo by AP, Alexei Druzhinin.

There’s been a lot of confused stories recently about Russian PM Vladimir Putin releasing snow leopards into a wildlife reserve as part of the promises in the lead up to the 2014 winter olympics. The animals are actually NOT snow leopards but Persian leopards. Recent media reports said that Putin released two snow leopards imported from Turkmenistan into the reserve near Sochi where the Winter Olympics will be held. This picture from AP wires clearly shows the beautiful cat is not a snow leopard. We wish the beautiful cats a good life in this reserve and the plan is to breed them and release any offspring into the wild, a very optimistic undertaking. I’m not sure if this has been done before. Certainly it’s never been possible to do it with snow leopards before but who knows, perhaps some day?

 

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