PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium recently welcomed the birth of two Leopard cubs that are considered one of the rarest species of cat on earth.

The cubs were born on Saturday, March 18, and have been living with their mother Semba, an Amur Leopard. Zoo staff said the cubs are healthy and are off public viewing until their old enough to receive their vaccinations and are able to safely explore their outdoor habitat.

Assistant Curator of Mammals Karen Vacco said Semba, who is a first-time mother, was also born at the zoo and the cubs are doing well.

Image provided by the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium.

“Semba was born at the Pittsburgh Zoo herself and we’re so glad to see the next generation
join us. She’s such a good mom,” Vacco said. “Aside from digital monitoring of the denning area, we’re letting them bond. They’re doing well, the babies are nursing and growing just like they should.”

The public will be able to vote on the names of the Leopard cubs through a naming contest. By donating $5, guests will be able to submit two names on the Pittsburgh Zoo website.

The zoo does not have an exact date when the cubs will be viewed by the public but they will receive a second round of vaccinations in mid-June and will be able to leave the den. According to the Pittsburgh Zoo, Amur leopards are critically endangered with roughly 100 individual cats living in the wild in their native Russia and China.

This is the second birth of an endangered species at the zoo this year. 32-year-old Western lowland Gorilla Ibo gave birth to a baby girl on Valentine’s Day Feb. 14. The baby girl was named Charlotte after $5,000 was donated through a naming contest.