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Two Snow Leopard Cubs Born At Your Toronto Zoo!

The forecast was right: we have snow in May! 

Your Guardians of Wild are proud to share that overnight on Monday May 13th, three-year old snow leopard Jita gave birth to two cubs after a 97-day pregnancy.

Jita and her new cubs are NOT currently visible to guests visiting the Toronto Zoo, but updates will be shared in the days and weeks to come about how and when guests will be able to view these little snowballs.

Jita’s cubs, sired by nine-year-old Pemba, came into the world following a few hours of labour. Wildlife Care, watching on remote cameras, observed her laboured breathing as well as circling and rolling (signs of impending birth) around 7:30pm. The first cub was born at 7:45pm, followed by the arrival of her second cub in the early hours of Tuesday, May 14th. 

Jita is doing very well as a first-time mother and is diligently nursing, grooming, and cuddling her “snowballs.” Her Wildlife Care team is monitoring the new family closely via CCTV cameras to minimize any disturbance, and will be closely observing the development of the cubs. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

The elusive snow leopard, also known as the “ghost cat”, is not often spotted in the wild and is listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list. The Toronto Zoo participates in the snow leopard Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a cooperative breeding program amongst AZA accredited North American facilities. Through the SSP, we maintain a sustainable population of snow leopards in human care to preserve their genetic diversity and allow them to serve as ambassadors for their wild counterparts.

Through the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy's Adopt an Animal program, you can symbolically adopt a Toronto Zoo snow leopard and become a Guardian of Wild. Funds raised through the program support the ongoing conservation and research efforts of your Toronto Zoo, helping to save endangered species. For more information or to adopt, please visit