The critically endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in May have names! Allow us to introduce Basha [BAH-shuh] and Mango.
Generous CMZoo donors picked their names. Basha’s name is inspired by the name of the lead animal keeper in Asian Highlands, Basia. Basia and Anya, the cubs’ mother, have worked closely together since Anya arrived at CMZoo in 2015, and Basia is a passionate leopard conservationist. Mango was named in honor of a beloved domestic cat who inspired the donors’ dedication to wildlife.
Mango has slightly darker features, a distinct ‘M’ spot pattern across his forehead and more defined lines instead of individual spots on his face. Basha currently has a lighter face than Mango and is slightly bigger than his brother. Basha’s keepers have also seen a heart-shaped spot above his right eye. Their size comparisons and spot patterns could change as the boys continue to grow, but these distinguishing features are great ways to tell the boys apart for now.
The 10-week-old cubs have started exploring outdoor spaces with their mom, and guests might catch a glimpse of them in a not-easily-viewed part of Asian Highlands. When they’re a bit bigger, they will explore more visible spaces where guests can easily see them. We’ll let you know as soon as that happens.
In honor of their new names, CMZoo is offering a special limited-availability adoption package, complete with a leopard plush toy and fact sheet, certificate of adoption, and a photo of Mango and Basha. Visit cmzoo.org/adopt to symbolically adopt a cub before this limited edition adoption package runs out.
Amur leopards are widely known as the rarest big cats on the planet. The cubs are adorable, certainly, but their existence is hope for the future of their species. Only around 100 individuals remain in the wilds of far east Russia and China. Read more about these very important cubs, and watch video updates as they’ve grown over the last couple of months, at cmzoo.org/cubs.
About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s mountain Zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and truly fantastic animal experiences. In 2023, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was voted #4 Best Zoo in North America and CMZoo’s Rocky Mountain Wild was named #2 Best Zoo Exhibit in North America by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s goal to help guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Since 2008, CMZoo’s Quarters for Conservation program has raised more than $4.5 million dedicated to frontline conservation efforts around the world. Of the 238 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just a few operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues, special event attendance and donations for funding.