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Adorable new pictures show leopard cubs playing in Banham Zoo enclosure

PUBLISHED: 10:57 06 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:56 06 August 2020

One of the eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs plays with mother Sariska in their enclosure at Banham Zoo.  Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

One of the eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs plays with mother Sariska in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

New pictures of rare leopard cubs enjoying playtime at Banham Zoo have been released.

A pair of eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs play in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireA pair of eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs play in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The adorable images show the Sri Lankan cubs wrestling and playing with their mother, Sariska, in their enclosure at the south Norfolk attraction.

It can also be revealed for the first time that the feisty felines are both male, having had their first veterinary checks in recent days.

One of the eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs plays with mother Sariska in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireOne of the eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs plays with mother Sariska in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The eight-week-old leopards - who have not yet been named - were born to Sariska and her breeding partner, Mias, on June 4, when the attraction was closed during lockdown.

Targeted by hunters for their fur and persecuted as a pest, Sri Lankan leopards are listed as endangered and there are only around 800 left in the wild.

Sri Lankan leopard Sariska cleans one of her eight-week-old cubs in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireSri Lankan leopard Sariska cleans one of her eight-week-old cubs in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

But Sariska and Mias are part of a European breeding programme and helped Banham become the first UK zoo to breed Sri Lankan leopards.

This year marks the second occasion they have had cubs together, after their first two were born in 2017.

One of the eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireOne of the eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A pair of eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs play with mother Sariska in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireA pair of eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs play with mother Sariska in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

One of the eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireOne of the eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A pair of eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs play in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireA pair of eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs play in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A pair of eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs play in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireA pair of eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs play in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A pair of eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs play in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA WireA pair of eight-week-old Sri Lankan leopard cubs play in their enclosure at Banham Zoo. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire


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