News Flash

City of Greenville Official News Releases

Posted on: May 8, 2020

Greenville Women Giving Fund Leopard Enclosure at Zoo

One of two rare Amur leopard cubs, at a recent vet checkup

The Greenville Zoo Foundation has received a $75,000 grant from Greenville Women Giving for a new leopard holding enclosure at the Greenville Zoo. Greenville Women Giving announced the 2020 grant winners on Thursday and the Greenville Zoo Foundation was one of seven recipients of funds totaling $541,000.

The Greenville Zoo is currently home to three Amur leopards: Jade, the zoo’s nine-year-old female, and her two cubs born in February. Nelkan, the zoo’s 13-year-old male leopard, is on loan to the Philadelphia Zoo while Jade cares for the cubs. The zoo’s current holding area is one large room, which cannot house two adult leopards and cubs. The grant from Greenville Women Giving will enable the zoo to build a new facility with multiple rooms to adequately house a family of leopards.

The Amur leopard is the rarest large cat species, with less than 100 Amur leopards living in the wild. It is also the only large cat species to be considered for reintroduction to the wild, making breeding and maintaining a high genetic variability within the zoo population extremely important. The Greenville Zoo participates in a cooperative breeding program developed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for Amur leopards. This program is crucial to the Amur leopard’s survival and through Greenville Women Giving’s support, the zoo can continue its work to save the Amur leopard and the community can continue to see and learn about this rare species right here in Greenville.

For more information, contact Lydia Thomas with the Greenville Zoo Foundation at 864.627.4200 or

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About Greenville Women Giving

Greenville Women Giving is a philanthropic women’s collective giving organization created as a special initiative of the Community Foundation in 2006. Since its founding, GWG has awarded 123 grants totaling over $6.5 million and has grown to over 530 members. For more information, please visit

About the Greenville Zoo Foundation

The Greenville Zoo Foundation is a non-profit organization that serves as an independent community outreach group. The Foundation provides financial, resource and advocacy support for the needs of the Greenville Zoo. The efforts of the Foundation assist the Zoo in completing its mission of serving the Upstate of South Carolina by promoting an appreciation of nature and wildlife while providing innovative programs for education and conservation. For more information, visit

Visit the Zoo online
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