Rare Sri Lankan leopards born in French zoo

July 29, 2014
Two female Sri Lankan leopard cubs, born on July 1, 2014, play in their cage in Maubeuge zoo, northern France, on July 29, 2014. The Sri Lankan leopard is a threatened species, with an estimated 700 living in the wild and 65 in captivity

Two rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs have been born in a zoo in northern France, a boost for a sub-species that numbers only about 700 in the wild, the head of the facility said Tuesday.

"There are only a few of them in captivity with about 60 spread across some 20 European zoos," said Jimmy Ebel, of Maubeuge Zoo. "These are under great threat due to deforestation and poaching."

The cubs were born on July 1 at the zoo, close to the Belgian border, which houses about 300 animals including Asian elephants.

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