By Associated Press - Saturday, January 25, 2020

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut zoo is celebrating the first birthdays of two rare Amur leopard cubs.

The Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport has activities planned throughout the day Saturday in honor of Orion and his sister Kallisto, who were born at the zoo on Jan. 25, 2019.

Zoo officials say Amur leopards are critically endangered, meaning they face a high risk of extinction with only about 80 remaining in the wild. There are about 200 in human care worldwide.

Saturday’s events include educational talks at the leopard habitat, a leopard photography class, free cake and hot cocoa and a lecture with photos and video taken by leopard cub care specialists.

Beardsley officials say they had to remove Orion and Kallisto from their mother Freya when she began hyper-grooming behaviors that posed a danger to the cubs. Kallisto, a female, lost her tail because of the hyper-grooming and had to undergo lifesaving surgery shortly after birth.

Kallisto is a rare black Amur leopard because of melanism, a condition that produces an excess of black pigment.

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