It’s cub season – in snow leopard habitat in Central Asia and in zoos around the world. While our researchers are in the field looking for wild cubs, we’re also in touch with our zoo partners around the world, so we can update you on births near you – and please don’t hesitate to tell us if you hear about cubs before we do!
We’ve received great news from the ABQ Zoo in Albuquerque NM and Cape May County Zoo in New Jersey. Both of these zoos reported the births of healthy sets of twins this spring.
[update: Philadelphia Zoo reports the birth of three cubs on May 26th. One of them sadly died just days later, but the other two are doing fine!]
[updates: Adorable Misha was born at Denver Zoo on May 13.
Three cubs were born at Tulsa Zoo in mid-May, but unfortunately, only one of them, little Niko, survived the turbulent first weeks after their birth.
Three cubs have been born at Marwell Wildlife in the UK – all of them apparently doing great.
[updates: Another British zoo, Dudley Zoo, has reported the birth of one cub – unnamed as of yet, but very cute nonetheless!
Zoo Magdeburg in Germany reports that snow leopard mom Dina gave birth to 3 cubs last night [in German]!
2 male cubs were born in April at Zooparc de Trégomeur in France. There is an utterly adorable photo album featuring them on the zoo’s Facebook page.
All those cubs remain behind the scenes for now, we’ll update you on when they’ll venture out into the exhibits as soon as we can.
More cubs on the way
At least two more zoos are expecting cubs soon: At Germany’s Zoo Magdeburg, a live webcam has been installed – and the zoo hopes to broadcast live images of the birth in early June.
[update: three adorable cubs were born last night! You can see them live on their webcam!]
A female cat at Sweden’s Nordens Ark is also expecting cubs, and we have our ears on the ground to let you know as soon as they born! [update:the cubs were born in late May – watch them play live on a webcam from their den]
Amid the joyful news from zoos all over the world, there have also been sad days! In January, Chattanooga Zoo reported that snow leopard cub Everest had died of a tumor on his heart. In early May, a newborn cub at Calgary Zoo also passed away after it wouldn’t nurse.
Zoos: Partners in conservation
Many zoos are active supporters of wildlife conservation, committed to protecting wild species and their natural habitats. Over
The Trust is currently working with over 70 Zoos worldwide to promote snow leopard conservation through our Natural Partnerships Program (NPP). This program brings the global Zoo community and the Snow Leopard Trust together in a united effort to ensure the survival of the endangered snow leopard. Through NPP, Zoos turn inspiration into action and support high priority conservation projects in snow leopard range countries. Since 1998, partnering Zoos have raised over 1.2 million dollars for snow leopard conservation!
Have you heard the pitter patter of little snow leopard paws at a Zoo near you? If so, please let us know, so we can add them to our list!
Interested in learning more about Zoo Breeding Programs? Please visit the American Zoological Association’s website where they delineate their Species Survival Plan. The mission of an AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species population within AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, and Approved Non-Member Participants.
There are currently more than 300 SSP Programs, each managed by their corresponding Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs), within AZA. Each is responsible for developing a comprehensive population Studbook and a Breeding and Transfer Plan which identifies population management goals and recommendations to ensure the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied AZA population.