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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Here she comes

Like her elusive wild relatives, Helen—Woodland Park Zoo’s newest snow leopard—made herself hard to spot during her official debut this morning at the snow leopard exhibit.

TV and newspaper cameras scrambled to catch a glimpse of the beautiful feline as she crept around trees and hid behind rocks, shyly exploring her new home and the different scents her keepers scattered around the space.

Helen, a 3-year-old snow leopard, joins us from Tautphaus Park Zoo in Idaho. Here at WPZ, she’ll make her home with two other snow leopards, 14-year-old Nadia, and 2-year-old Tom.

The cat’s name carries on the legacy of devoted snow leopard conservationist Helen Freeman (1932-2007), founder of the Snow Leopard Trust, a WPZ partner for conservation. Together with the Snow Leopard Trust, we’ll be hosting the second annual International Snow Leopard Day event at the zoo this Saturday, August 23, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At the event, learn all about snow leopard research and conservation in the wild and find out how you can help. Enjoy crafts, face painting, live music, and more for the whole family.

Photos by Tianna Klineburger.
Top: Helen makes her first appearance in Woodland Park Zoo's snow leopard exhibit.
Bottom: A close-up of Helen.

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