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Persian leopard cubs born in Russia

Aug. 30, 2013 at 6:39 PM

SOCHI, Russia, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- The World Wide Fund for Nature announced two endangered Persian leopard cubs have been born at Russia's Sochi National Park.

The WWF released a statement Friday saying the two cubs were born recently at the park and the mother rejected one of the newborns, which is now being cared for by park staff, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

The cub accepted by its mother is scheduled to be released in 2015, along with two other cubs born to another Persian leopard last month, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said.

The rejected cub would not be able to survive in the wild without instruction from its mother and will join a breeding program to help replenish the species' population.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature said an estimated 870 to 1,290 Persian leopards remain in the wild in Iran, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. A total 108 of the animals are being kept in zoos and breeding centers around the world.

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