In a bid to draw attention to the plight of the critically endangered Arabian leopard, Saudi Arabia successfully advocated for the United Nations to designate February 10, 2024, as the International Day of the Arabian Leopard. With only an estimated 200 of these majestic creatures left in the wild, the Arabian leopard stands as one of the rarest big cats globally, known for its smaller size compared to its African counterparts and its historic habitat spanning Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman.
On this significant day, His Excellency the Ambassador from the Saudi Embassy in Kenya joined forces with conservation organizations like Focused Conservation and Catmosphere for a groundbreaking initiative in Kenya’s Kanura Forest. Named the “Catwalk,” this symbolic 7-kilometer walk aimed to raise awareness about the Arabian leopard’s endangered status. Organized by Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud’s non-profit foundation, Catmosphere, the event garnered international attention, amplifying the global call for the protection of big cats. Princess Bandar, also serving as the Saudi ambassador to the United States, has emerged as a vocal advocate for preserving the Arabian leopard and its habitat.
With historical records indicating a decline in Arabian leopard sightings, including the last recorded sighting in Saudi Arabia in 2014, the urgency to conserve this species has never been greater. Today, as we commemorate the International Day of the Arabian Leopard, we honor its legacy and renew our commitment to ensuring its survival for generations to come.