Meet Central Florida Zoo’s two new leopards
After its last remaining leopard passed away last month, Sanford’s Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens added two new (to them!) leopards to its menagerie. The two leopards, born in 1996, have spent practically their entire lives together at the Naples Zoo, so it’s good to see them stick together in the move to their new home. They have been separated from their babies, who were born in 1999. That’s what happens, though – people (and leopards) grow up and move away from their parents.
The nonprofit zoo’s new female is a melanistic leopard, sometimes incorrectly referred to as a black panther. Her black coat is due to a recessive gene that causes the production of more black pigment than orange-tan. The spots are still visible, though; you just have to look super-close. The male is a regular spotted leopard.
While you’re welcoming them to their new abode, you should definitely stop by and day “hi” to Jahi, part of the zoo’s Indian Rhinoceros exhibit.