he Jerusalem Biblical Zoo's latest attraction is a pair of female leopards called Adar and Ashur. What makes this particular pair unique is that between them they have two tails, four eyes, dozens of spots, but only seven legs. Ashur is the only three-legged leopard in the country. The pair of Persian leopards, an endangered species, arrived as part of an expansion of the leopard enclosure in memory of Adar Fundaminsky, a young lawyer who died earlier this year of cancer. Fundaminsky was an avid animal lover and for two years volunteered every week at the zoo. She would bake honey cake for the bears and apple strudel for the keepers. "She would help the animals that needed help, just like people," says Adar's father Schnior Fundaminsky. But it was the leopards that Adar felt most needed her attention. At the time the leopard enclosure was a much smaller compound and Adar decided to fund a project to expand the exhibit. Unfortunately, Adar succumbed to her 13-year struggle with her illness in January this year and never saw the completion of her dream. Her father then took up the mantle to follow his daughter's ambition through, and the zoo began the search for a female leopard to honor Adar's memory. Six-year old "Adar" arrived at the zoo three months ago and now, together with Ashur, keeps visitors entertained by roaming the enlarged leopard exhibit. Leopards are ferocious animals and Ashur's missing leg is testimony to their natural tendency to tear each other apart. She was born in Budapest a year ago, and at age six months her father mauled her leg so badly surgeons were forced to amputate it at the shoulder. Ashur recovered well from the attack and now, six months later, she is raring to go. She hops around her enclosure climbing obstacles and romping with Adar without difficulty. "Many zoos would not take a three-legged leopard," says chief carnivore keeper Dennis Smith. The two new arrivals join the zoo's veteran spotted cat, Max. Despite having cared for Max for 14 years, even Smith dares not pet him. At best, Smith can tickle the end of Max's nose through the bars of his cage, and then only if the leopard is in a good mood. Separating tangled leopards by hand is too dangerous for keepers, who never enter their charges' cages. Instead they bank on all cats' natural aversion to water, and keep a water hose on hand should things get out of control. Their vicious aggression made introducing the two new females a lengthy procedure. For the first three weeks after their arrival the cats were kept in separate cages out of public sight and only allowed into the main enclosure one at a time. Adar and Ashur had adjoining cages and a grille between them enabled the two females to get to know each other. At first the leopards' new surroundings made them nervous. The cats stayed in their cages and didn't eat. Even when they had access to the larger open enclosure the leopards remained hidden indoors, but keepers were delighted to see Adar and Ashur begin to bond. At night video cameras recorded the new arrivals nuzzling against the bars between their cages as Adar licked Ashur's face. "The girls were getting on well with each other," Smith says. "Adar adopted her as a daughter." Eventually the leopards overcame their shyness and began to roam the enclosure during the day. Max remains indifferent to the newcomers sharing his domain despite apparent efforts by Adar to arouse his interest. Night video caught Adar putting on a "come hither" display of submission to Max from her side of the grill. So far, however, Max is playing hard to get. "Max is a snob," Smith notes. After adopting her invalid roommate, Adar had one more surprise in store for keepers. A month ago Smith received an urgent call from another zookeeper who reported a cat stuck in the leopard enclosure. Further investigation revealed that Adar had given birth to a male leopard cub. "Only our Adar knew, because she is in heaven," Fundaminsky says. Adar also gave birth to another male cub a few hours later but he died shortly afterwards. "When Adar first arrived I kept saying I had never seen such a fat leopard," Smith recalls. "I just thought she had been well fed." So far Adar has rejected caring for her cub and keepers attribute this to the stress caused by her arrival at the zoo. In the meantime staff at the zoo's clinic are caring for the month-old cub named "Roo" after Adar's pet dog that was himself named after the Winnie-The-Pooh character. Zoo staff feed Roo every three hours from a bottle and "poop" him regularly. In the wild, mother leopards lick the youngsters' behinds to encourage a bowel movement although zoo veterinarian Liz Kaufman admits she uses a piece of wet gauze instead. When he isn't sleeping, Roo enjoys having his ears and tummy tickled and playing with shoes, just like any kitten. "It's funny how things worked out," Smith muses. "Adar really brought new life to the exhibit.

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