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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New snow leopard joins the zoo

A young snow leopard has come to join the snow leopard exhibit. The male, named "Tom" (his littermate was given the moniker "Jerry"), was born in 2006 at the Los Angles Zoo and arrived here in February. After clearing quarantine, the cat took up residence in our Australia snow leopard exhibit.

His keepers note that Tom is a very social cat, very vocal to keepers and other animals, and responds well to his caretakers and to Nadia, the 14-year-old female that has been here for a number of years. He has more white in his coat that Nadia, is a little larger, and but still has more "filling out" to do. Tom's keepers say that his favorite play items are cardboard boxes---which he promptly shreds to pieces!

Due to the big age difference between the two cats and Nadia's advanced age, we are not looking to breed these two animals. Another younger female will be arriving soon and we hope to receive a breeding recommendation four these two new cats from the Species Survival Plan. Since WPZ first obtained snow leopards in 1972, more than 2 cubs have been born here. Several have been sent to Australia, Canada, England and throughout North America to diversify captive populations. We also collaborate with other zoos to improve reproductive techniques and team with our conservation partner, the Snow Leopard Trust, to ensure their survival in the wild. (Photo by Ryan Hawk)

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