Snow Leopard

A First for Akron Zoo: A Pair of Baby Snow Leopards!

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On May 14, for the first time in its history, Snow Leopard cubs were born at the Akron Zoo in Ohio. The two males are healthy and thriving indoors in a cubbing area with their mother Shanti. Born weighing about 2 pounds, at six weeks old the cubs weigh all of six pounds and their eyes have opened. They are able to walk and are starting to climb too. 

The Animal Care Staff suspected Shanti was pregnant in March and began watching her closely. In the evening of May 13 they started noticing changes in her behavior and began monitoring her via cameras set up indoors at her exhibit for the impending birth. The first cub was born at 4 a.m. on May 14 and the second at 5:51 a.m. Shanti, a first time mom, has been very attentive to the cubs, successfully caring for them on her own. As in the wild their father, Roscoe, does not participate in the rearing process. He will never have direct contact with the cubs. 

Snow Leopards are an endangered species primarily due to loss of habitat, illegal poaching for their pelts and body parts and killings by local herders when one has preyed on their livestock. There are only 155 Snow Leopards in the SSP (Species Survival Plan) in the U.S. and there are believed to be as few as 4,000 left in the wild. Only nine cubs have been born at zoos this year as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums SSP. 

Dr. Kim Cook

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Photo Credit: Akron Zoo

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Triplet Snow Leopard Cubs Only Two Weeks Old!

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A beautiful display of spots appeared on May 2 at Woodland Park Zoo when triplet Snow Leopards were born to 7-year-old mother Helen. The cubs represent the second litter for Helen and 6-year-old father Tom. Veterinarians performed a neonatal examination today on the cubs, which were confirmed as two females and a male. As you can see, the cubs have still yet to fully open their eyes. The mom and cubs are off public exhibit in a maternal den until mid-July to allow privacy for bonding and proper nursing.

“Helen was an excellent mother to the pair of cubs she gave birth to in 2009 and successfully raised. We’re very pleased to see that she’s nurturing the three cubs very well and that they appear to be progressing normally. They appear to be healthy, their eyes are just now opening and their bellies were full of milk, indicating that they are nursing,” said zoo Director of Animal Health Dr. Darin Collins. The cubs currently weigh between 2.1 and 2.4 pounds.

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Snow Leopard Woodland Park Zoo 7 HeldPhoto credits: Ryan Hawk / Woodland Park Zoo

Snow Leopards are an endangered species. The Snow Leopard is a moderately large cat native to the high mountain ranges of Central Asia and Russia, including in Afghanistan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal and Pakistan. Snow Leopard scientists estimate as few as 3,500 remain in the wild.

More photos and info below the fold

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There's Snow at Philadelphia Zoo - Snow Leopard Cubs That Is!

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The Philadelphia Zoo welcomed two Snow Leopard cubs to its growing animal family on June 9 when Maya, the Zoo’s 3-year-old female snow leopard, gave birth to two cubs in the afternoon. This is Maya’s first litter as well as for their father Amga, who is 5-years-old. 

Maya was in constant physical contact with them once they were born, caring for and feeding them. The first 72 hours of the cub’s life are the most critical and monitored closely by the Zoo’s animal and veterinary staff. There is video of them at a very early age after the jump.

Mother and cubs are thriving, and normally the cubs would have made their public debut at around 3 months of age, but it was delayed due minor surgery to correct eyelid abnormalities in October. In this condition, called an upper eyelid coloboma, a portion of the upper eyelid fails to develop properly, leaving a gap at the edge of the eyelid which can lead to eye irritation. The cause of this condition is not well understood, but it occurs in a variety of animals and in humans, and appears to be more common in snow leopards than in other species. The cubs have otherwise developed well, playing, eating, running and jumping normally - see the video of them playing with their mom after the jump.

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Photo Credit: Philadelphia Zoo

More photos, videos and conservation information after the jump.

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Feisty Snow Leopard Twins Are Cleared To Venture Out

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The ABQ BioPark is thrilled to announce the birth of two male Snow Leopards. Kiran and Kalmali, born July 21, 2011, are beginning to venture into their exhibit with their mother, Kachina, on the Zoo’s Cat Walk.

“Kachina is a great mother, very fierce and protective of her cubs,” said Shelly Dicks, Mammal Supervisor. “The cubs are peeking out after her and coming into the exhibit, but still shy when people are watching. However, when we arrive in the morning, it’s clear they’ve been having a grand old time. They’ve torn up the enrichment and made a mess of the exhibit!”

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Photo credits: Katie Mast/ABQ BioPark

Snow leopards are endangered, and zoos and conservation organizations around the world are helping to protect them through a Species Survival Plan (SSP). Organized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the SSP helps arrange adult pairs to maintain genetic diversity. Lynn Tupa, ABQ BioPark Zoo Manager, helps to coordinate the snow leopard SSP. Check out the additional photos beneath the fold...

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A Pouncing Pair of Snow Leopard Cubs

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A pouncing pair of Snow Leopard cubs recently appeared on the scene in their main enclosure at the Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire, England. And they've just gotten a check up by the vets! Born in June, they are yet to be named.

Parents Suou and Irma arrived at Twycross in May 2010 as part of the international breeding program. The birth of the cubs is a significant contribution to the conservation of Snow Leopards which are currently listed as endangered.

Sharon Redrobe Twycross Zoo's Director of Life Sciences said. "I am proud and delighted at this successful first breeding at Twycross Zoo. Our animal staff have worked hard to ensure the best conditions for the snow leopards to breed and their hard work and expertise has paid off in these delightful additions to the European breeding program."

"The dad is not currently in the enclosure with them as they need to be slightly older before he is introduced to them,'she continued, "but he has been chuffing through the separating enclosure - a big cat greeting."

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Two snow cubs on rocks
Photo Credit:Twycross Zoo

 

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Snow Leopard Mom Has Her Paws Full with Triplets!

Snow Leopard Cub Stalking at Zoo Basel

This past week Zoo Basel's furriest new residents began to venture outside of their den for the first time, proving to be bold and curious little cubs. Born April 22nd, the three little Snow Leopard cubs have stayed secluded with mom, Mayhan, in the den for the last two months and these pictures are their first debut to the world. While the cubs are still nursing, they are also getting practice at munching chicken, which appears to be more about having fun than dinner at this stage. In the wild, this shy, mountain dwelling feline is threatened by poaching and suspicious herders. Wild populations are estimated to be only 4,000 - 6,000 making these births all the more important.

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Snow Leopard Cub Sniffs Mom at Zoo Basel

More incredible photos below the fold!

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A Star Is Born in Chattanooga!

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Chattanooga Zoo is happy to announce the arrival of a tiny Snow Leopard cub. Born January 10th, the cub is growing quickly and currently weighs in at around 5 pounds. For some time, zoo keepers weren't even sure that mother Kasmir was pregnant, becuase captive Snow Leopard births are so rare this time of year. These rare Leopards are endangered in the wild, and institutions such as the Chattanooga Zoo play a vital role in building awareness of their plight and that of their threatened mountain habitat.

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Photo credits: Chattanooga Zoo

 


Snow Leopards Cubs Debut in Oklahoma

On May 12th, the Oklahoma City Zoo welcomed two little Snow Leopard cubs but waited until the cubs had had their second round of shots and time to bond with mom before debuting them to the public yesterday. This is the second set of cubs for mother Kiara, who was born at the Tulsa Zoo. Despite being bottle-fed herself, Kiara has proven to be a capable and attentive mother. The cubs are still too young, and the weather too hot, for the cubs to go outside but they will make it out within a few weeks.

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Photo credits: Oklahoma City Zoo (see more on their Facebook album)


Three Snow Leopard Cubs Debut Banham Zoo

This past weekend, the UK's Banham Zoo debuted their three 10 week old Snow Leopard cubs to the public. Up until now, the only glimpses most zoo staff had seen were grainy images from the remote den cam. The cubs appear happy and healthy and still have access to the secluded den area for when they want to avoid the limelight. The Banham Zoo has been part of the European Breeding Programme for this endangered species for over 25 years.

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Cape May County Zoo's Newest and Noisiest Little Friends

Two weeks ago we brought you the announcement of two new Snow Leopards born at the Cape May County Zoo in New Jersey. Today we share their video debut as they make one big noisily adorable spectacle of themselves.

A reminder - The zoo is holding a naming contest for the two cubs and you can submit your names for the cubs by sending an email to info@capemaycountyzoo.org (include your name, age, address, phone number, email and cub names). You may also submit your names in person at the zoo. To learn more about the contest and to see posted entries, visit the contest web page.