Greenville Women Giving Fund Leopard Enclosure at Zoo

Staff Report From Greenville CEO

Monday, May 11th, 2020

The Greenville Zoo Foundation has received a $75,000 grant from Greenville Women Giving for a new leopard holding enclosure at the Greenville Zoo. Greenville Women Giving announced the 2020 grant winners on Thursday and the Greenville Zoo Foundation was one of seven recipients of funds totaling $541,000.

The Greenville Zoo is currently home to three Amur leopards: Jade, the zoo’s nine-year-old female, and her two cubs born in February. Nelkan, the zoo’s 13-year-old male leopard, is on loan to the Philadelphia Zoo while Jade cares for the cubs. The zoo’s current holding area is one large room, which cannot house two adult leopards and cubs. The grant from Greenville Women Giving will enable the zoo to build a new facility with multiple rooms to adequately house a family of leopards.

The Amur leopard is the rarest large cat species, with less than 100 Amur leopards living in the wild. It is also the only large cat species to be considered for reintroduction to the wild, making breeding and maintaining a high genetic variability within the zoo population extremely important. The Greenville Zoo participates in a cooperative breeding program developed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for Amur leopards. This program is crucial to the Amur leopard’s survival and through Greenville Women Giving’s support, the zoo can continue its work to save the Amur leopard and the community can continue to see and learn about this rare species right here in Greenville.