By Anna Ellis •
Published: 09 Nov 2023 • 15:29
Río Safari Elche: Protecting the World's Most Versatile Big Cat. Image: Rio Safari Elche / Facebook.
Río Safari Elche is not just a place for family outings and wildlife enthusiasts.
The wildlife park is a crucial player in the preservation of a threatened subspecies of leopard, both in its native habitat and across Europe through its management and breeding program.
One of their most significant conservation endeavours has been their collaboration with The Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Trust in Sri Lanka.
Together, they’ve been working tirelessly to safeguard one of the world’s most endangered leopard subspecies, the Sri Lankan leopard.
Leopards are unique among big cats due to their extraordinary adaptability to a wide range of environments.
Unlike tigers, which thrive in dense jungles and tropical forests, or lions that call the savannas their home, leopards have successfully colonized diverse terrains across a vast territory.
Their habitat ranges from nearly all of Asia to most of Africa, with the notable exception of the Sahara Desert.
What sets leopards apart is their remarkable ability to subsist on a diverse array of prey, from large ungulates to smaller species.
This exceptional adaptability has allowed them to thrive in a multitude of ecosystems.
However, it also means that their survival is critically tied to the health of these various habitats.
With ever-increasing threats to their natural environments, leopards, including the Sri Lankan leopard, face a perilous future.
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Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.
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