20 Years ago the number of Amur leopards in the wild was down to just 20-25 animals. In 2012 Russia massively expanded the protected areas, and in 2017 China added even more protected land on its side of the border. Now the Russians estimate they have 120 leopards in the wild.
The area is also home to Siberian tigers but these are not quite as endangered with 500 roaming the wild.
Putin’s involvement with conservationism on behalf or Russia’s tigers and leopards in the Far East, and the reintroduction of the Persian leopard to the Caucasus is well documented. He took personal interest in the efforts and provided the necessary support by the state.
Putin’s involvement with conservationism has given us headlines such as:
• The New York Times: ‘Putin’s Tiger,’ in a Territory Grab All His Own, Swims to China
• The Guardian: Vladimir Putin’s tiger blamed for Chinese goat deaths
Hillary Clinton meanwhile claimed that by making conversation about Russia’s wild cats she was able to gain access to Putin’s “inner, inner sanctum“:
In a speech to the Jewish United Fund Of Metropolitan Chicago in October 2013, she [Hillary Clinton] appears to have a rather softer approach.
She said: “I said, ‘You know, Mr. Prime Minister, we actually have some things in common.
“We both want to protect wildlife, and I know how committed you are to protecting the tiger.
“I mean, all of a sudden, he sat up straight and his eyes got big and he goes, ‘You care about the tiger? I said, ‘I care about the tiger, I care about the elephant, I care about the rhinoceros, I care about the whale.’”
Delegates at the speech were then given some jaw dropping tit bits of the subsequent conversation.
Apparently Mrs Clinton was then invited into a room where she gave a description that would put even Sarah Palin to shame.
The unbelieveably indiscreet speech then went on to outline how Mr Putin took her to his “private inner sanctum.”
She added: “So we go down the stairs, we go down this long hall, we go into this private inner sanctum.
“All of his, you know, very beefy security guys are there, they all jump up at attention, you know, they punch a code, he goes through a heavily-armed door.
“And then we’re in an inner, inner sanctum with, you know, just this long, wooden table, and then further back, there’s a desk and the biggest map of Russia I ever saw.
“And he starts talking to me about, you know, the habitat of the tigers and the habitat of the seals and the whales.”
Mrs Clinton appears to have previously been a fan of the masculine world leader who plays a mean piano.
She also claimed earlier that year that he was: “Engaging and, you know, very interesting conversationalist.”
Problematically, Hillary’s memory is notoriously unreliable her having once explained she “landed under sniper fire” in Bosnia in 1996. The war in Bosnia ended in 1995.