Russian president/brazen animal enthusiast Vladimir Putin is attempting to restore a breeding population of Persian leopards-- extirpated in the Caucasus for decades-- to the region around Sochi. He is doing this because the Olympics are in town. He made this very clear:
"We've decided to restore the population of the Persian leopard because of the Olympic Games. Let's say that because of the Olympic Games, we have restored parts of destroyed nature."
This is, it seems, an effort to combat the sentiment that Sochi preparations have been environmentally unfriendly. To hammer that point home, Putin invited reporters up to the leopard breeding center, where he proceeded to hop into a cage and pet a grouchy-looking baby leopard:
Putin managed to avoid any toothy interactions with the cat, but the reporters with him did not:
But the animal reportedly liked the Russian president much more than his entourage, scratching one accompanying reporter on the hand and biting another on the knee, Russian media reported.
Not everybody gets presidential treatment from leopard babies. Be careful.