Top Shot: Eye of the Leopard

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A leopard with a unique eye lifts her head after a hunt in Botswana. Photograph by Wayne Wetherbee.

Rarest Big Cat on Earth Starting to Make a Comeback

by Elizabeth Palermo

Things are starting to look up for the rarest big cat on the planet: The critically endangered Amur leopard, which is indigenous to southeastern Russia and parts of northeastern China, has doubled in population since 2007, according to a new report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Census data from Russia’s Land of the Leopard National Park, which covers about 60 percent of the Amur leopard’s habitat, puts the number of these wild cats at 57. That’s up from the 30 leopards counted in the area in 2007, according to the WWF.

Eight to 12 additional cats were also counted in adjacent areas of China during the census, which means the total population of Amur leopards has, in fact, doubled in less than a decade…

(read more: Live Science)

photograph by World Wildlife Fund