AboutZoos, Since 2008


First snow leop­ard cubs ever born at Cen­tral Park Zoo make pub­lic debut

pub­lished 04 Novem­ber 2013 | mod­i­fied 25 Decem­ber 2014

The Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Society’s Cen­tral Park Zoo is debut­ing a pair of snow leop­ard cubs (Pan­thera uncia). These are the first snow leop­ard cubs ever born at the Cen­tral Park Zoo and the sec­ond snow leop­ard birth at a WCS zoo this year.

snow leopardThe cubs, a male and a female, born this sum­mer, weigh about 13 kg but are expected to reach between 3055 kg. The lit­ter is the result of the suc­cess­ful pair­ing of, Zoe, the mother (7), with Askai (6), a male sent to the Cen­tral Park Zoo from the Bronx Zoo. Both adults are first-​time parents.

Snow leop­ards first arrived at the WCS Cen­tral Park Zoo in 2009 with the open­ing of the Alli­son Maher Stern Snow Leop­ard Exhibit — the result of a lead­er­ship gift to WCS from long­time sup­port­ers Alli­son and Leonard Stern, along with sup­port from the City of New York. When the yet unnamed cubs can be seen will vary daily until they fully accli­mate to their surroundings.

This is the sec­ond snow leop­ard birth at a Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion Soci­ety zoo this year. Last month, WCS intro­duced a snow leop­ard cub born at the Bronx Zoo. That cub was sired by Leo — the snow leop­ard res­cued as a young orphaned cub after it was found in the high moun­tains of north­ern Pakistan.

The Cen­tral Park and Bronx Zoo snow leop­ards are a part of the Species Sur­vival Plan — a coop­er­a­tive breed­ing pro­gram admin­is­tered by the Asso­ci­a­tion of Zoos and Aquar­i­ums (AZA) designed to enhance the genetic diver­sity and demo­graphic sta­bil­ity of ani­mal pop­u­la­tions in AZA-​accredited zoos.

Snow leop­ards are among the world’s most endan­gered big cats with an esti­mated 3,5006,500 remain­ing in the wild. Their range is lim­ited to remote moun­tains of Cen­tral Asia and parts of China, Mon­go­lia, Rus­sia, India and Bhutan.

WCS has worked for decades on snow leop­ard con­ser­va­tion pro­grams in the field with cur­rent projects in Pak­istan, Afghanistan, Tajik­istan, and west­ern China. Past projects have included work with snow leop­ards in Kyr­gyzs­tan and Mongolia.

(Source: WCS press release, 04.11.2013)

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