Captive Arabian leopards

Captive Arabian leopards

Photograph by Fadhl Abdulrahman Al-Eryani

Anywhere from 30 - 50% of all Arabian leopards are kept in zoos, breeding centers, and private collections across the Peninsula.  While captive breeding may ensure the long-term survival of Arabian leopards, it is our belief that the in-situ conservation of these charismatic predators is under-resourced.  It is the goal of the Foundation to ensure a population of wild Arabian leoaprds in Yemen in perpetuity.  Known collections of captive Arabian leopards are distributed as follows:

United Arab Emirates: The largest, healthiest population of captive Arabian leopards is kept at the Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife (BCEAW) in Sharjah.  The BCEAW currently holds close to 30 individuals. It maintains the Arabian Leopard International Studbook, engages in husbandry and veterinary research, and coordinates the regional breeding effort by arranging breeding loans between the relevant institutions.  Private collections at the Al Nakhlee Estate (Dubai) and Al Bustan Zoological Centre (Sharjah) each have five Arabian leopards.  Elsewhere in the UAE the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort (AAWPR) and the Abu Dhabi Wildlife Centre each hold a single male leopard.

Sultanate of Oman: The Omani Mammal Breeding Centre was the first institution to attempt breeding Arabian leopards. They currently hold two males and two females.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: The National Wildlife Research Centre in Taif has nine Arabian leopards in its collection with males outnumbering females by two to one.  They experienced their first breeding successes with this species in 2008 and 2009.

Republic of Yemen:  Yemen has two captive populations of Arabian leopards.  The four at Sana'a Zoo have bred at least twice, but none of the cubs have survived to adulthood.  Taiz Zoo is much more successful and currently holds close to 20 leopards descended from a founder population of four wild-caught individuals.  The five leopards at Al Bustan Zoological Centre were born at Taiz Zoo.


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