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On April 29, 2017, two Amur leopard cubs were born at the Greenville Zoo. On Saturday, March 3, the Zoo will join the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), CITES, the World Association of Zoos (WAZA) and other supporting organizations to promote World Wildlife Day.

The common thread between these two events is the opportunity to name one or both of the leopard cubs and have the announcement made at an event held on March 3 at the Greenville Zoo.

The Greenville Zoo is offering an opportunity for an individual, group, organization, or business to provide the official name for the male, the female, or both of the Amur leopard cubs.

The money raised will be used to support Amur leopard conservation efforts both in the wild and in captivity. 

The Zoo hopes to raise at least $100,000 for the naming opportunity. If this goal is reached, the Greenville Zoo will contribute $50,000 to the Amur Leopard Reintroduction Program through the Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance (ALTA).

The other $50,000 will be used to assist in the construction of additional holding space necessary for the zoo to continue its breeding program and be able to better manage an Amur leopard breeding group.


The Amur leopard is considered the most endangered large cat on the planet. There may be 70 animals left in the wild and roughly 214 individuals in captivity. The Greenville Zoo participates in the Amur leopard Species Survival Program (SSP). As part of an SSP recommendation, the Greenville Zoo imported a male leopard from Berlin Germany in November 2016 to be paired with the zoo’s remaining female.

Nelkan, the male Amur leopard, was born at Parc Zoologique Et Botanique Mulhouse, France on April 14, 2006. In 2007, he was recommended to move to Berlin, Germany. Because the population is so low, the leopard cooperative breeding program is a worldwide effort of moving animals from place to place for breeding to ensure a population with the highest possible genetic variability within the captive population. In 2016, it was recommended that Nelkan be transferred to the Greenville Zoo for breeding with the zoo’s 7-year old female, Jade.

This move has been a tremendous success for the Amur leopard population and future breeding will enable Greenville to continue to contribute to the captive population as field researchers continue to work on the reintroduction plan in Russia,…/amur-leopard-reintroduct…/

With less than 300 Amur leopards on the planet, it is essential that individuals, organizations, and corporations work together to save this species from extinction. The opportunity to name one of the few remaining animals will create a tie to your organization for years to come and provide your employees an opportunity to be a part of a worldwide conservation effort that is tied closely to ongoing efforts at their local zoo. 

I would welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have regarding this request and to share with you the passion of the Greenville Zoo and its staff. 


Jeff Bullock, Zoo Administrator


The Greenville Zoo Foundation is a non-profit organization that serves as an independent community outreach group, whose purpose is to provide financial, resource and advocacy support for the needs of the Greenville Zoo.

As a 501(c)3 organization, the Greenville Zoo Foundation’s efforts assist the Zoo in completing its mission to service the Upstate of South Carolina by promoting an appreciation of nature and wildlife while providing innovative programs for education and conservation.

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