Image: Leopard mother and cub
Bela Szandelszky  /  AP
One of Budapest Zoo's rare Persian leopard cubs rests beside her mother during the first public appearance of the triplet cubs, Bella, Bara and Bahar in Budapest, Hungary.
updated 8/14/2007 5:36:40 PM ET 2007-08-14T21:36:40

A set of rare Persian leopard triplets was presented Tuesday at the Budapest Zoo. The cubs — a male and two females — were born at the zoo on June 19 and were doing well, said zoo spokesman Zoltan Hanga.

The Persian leopard — Panthera pardus saxicolor — is the largest of the leopard subspecies and is native to Western Asian countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Armenia.

It is endangered; fewer than 2,000 are thought to survive in the wild. A further 74 live in zoos.

The cubs born in Hungary — sisters Bella and Bara and brother Bahar — are part of a breeding program of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.

Their parents — father Nadir and mother Cezi — arrived at the Budapest Zoo in mid-2003. Their first offspring, Asszir was born June 6, 2005, and is now at the Jerusalem Zoo.

The three cubs will stay in Budapest for about a year, when they will be transferred to other zoos around the world.

Human twins, triplets or siblings from other multiple births who visit the Budapest Zoo together will be allowed in free of charge until Dec. 31, Hanga said.

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