The Brookfield Zoo is proud to share the birth of a male Snow Leopard cub, born on June 13. The cub was born to first time mom Sarani and her mate, Sabu. At just over two months, the cub weighs about 10 pounds. The cub will remain off exhibit until he is about 3 months old. This will allow him time to bond with mom before making his public debut in mid-September.
Saranti and Sabu, both about 3-years-old, were paired based on a recommendation from the AZA's Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP). SSPs help to manage the breeding population of a species in order to ensure that it is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. Including this cub, there are currently 140 Snow Leopards in 60 institutions in North America. The Brookfield Zoo has been home to Snow Leopards for nearly 80 years.
Snow Leopards are an Endangered species, with an estimated population between 3,500 and 7,000 in the wild. They are native to high, rugged mountainous regions throughout central Asia. The species is threatened by human influences, such as poaching, depletion of prey, retribution killings, residential and commercial development and civil unrest.