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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo welcomed a pair of Amur leopard cubs last Wednesday, adding to the population of one of the most endangered species in the world.

Amur leopards have been on the list of critically endangered animals since 1996 and are the rarest of big cat species, with only 100 or so estimated to be still alive, primarily in eastern Russia and western China, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

The births are the first in nearly 20 years of the leopards at the zoo, which is a participant in the Amur Leopard Species Survival Plan, according to a news release. The Denver Zoo also saw an Amur cub named Sochi born in 2013.

Cubs are born blind and are extremely fragile in the first weeks and months of their lives, but the two Colorado natives came out at an average weight of 2 pounds and showed a quick instinct to nurse from their mother, Anya, said Rebecca Zwicker, animal care manager in Asian Highlands at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

The zoo has a tradition of waiting 30 days to name a baby and the public will be informed when they are big enough to be made available for guests to visit them in the Asian Highlands exhibit. — Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post

Mayoral debate in runoff race slated for Tuesday

The Denver Post will co-host a debate between Kelly Brough and Mike Johnston on Tuesday evening as the days tick down to June 6 when one of those two hopefuls will be named the city’s first mayor in a dozen years.

The Post is partnering with Denver 7, Denverite and Colorado Public Radio for the hour-long event that starts at 6 p.m. Viewers can watch a live stream on denverpost.com or tune in on television on Denver7.

Ballots in the runoff stage of the race were sent out starting May 15.

The stakes are high for a city facing many challenges, including skyrocketing housing costs, widespread homelessness and rising crime.

Both Brough and Johnston have made bold promises around those issues. On Tuesday night, they will be asked about those topics, transportation, child care, the environment and more. — Joe Rubino, The Denver Post

 

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