Snow in Summer! - Welsh Mountain Zoo announces Snow Leopard cub birth


Snow in Summer! - Welsh Mountain Zoo announces Snow Leopard cub birth

The Welsh Mountain Zoo – National Zoo of Wales, has welcomed an adorable and incredibly rare snow leopard cub to their Zoo family.

The two-week-old cub, as yet unnamed or unsexed, was born on the 12th June 2024 to mum, Padme and dad, Sumbe. Zoo Keepers are keeping a watchful eye on mum and cub who are remaining within their den during these early days, with plans to open up the visible indoor habitat imminently. As mum and cub explore this new space over the coming weeks and months the Zoo is hopeful to share glimpses of the cubs first steps into their wider habitat as they begin to explore.

The new arrival marks the first cub to be born at the Zoo for a decade, and the first also to be born to the newest Snow Leopard pairing within the Silk Road habitat completed in 2021.

Chris Mitchell, CEO at the Welsh Mountain Zoo commented: “The Welsh Mountain Zoo has a rich history with snow leopards and it’s wonderful to welcome the arrival of this beautiful and special cub. The snow leopard is classed as vulnerable in the wild and so breeding in managed Zoo settings in conjunction with the Zoo’s annual commitment to support the Snow Leopard Trust is essential if we are to safeguard the future conservation of this amazing animal.”

Since 2017 over £10,000 had been donated to the Snow Leopard Trust from the Welsh Mountain Zoo through a combination of guest donations and direct contributions, with over £3400 donated in 2023 alone. The Snow Leopard Trust operates in China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Pakistan which are home to 75% of the world’s population of wild Snow Leopards.

Chris Mitchell continued: “Our unique Silk Road habitat was built with meticulous attention to detail in terms of the environment we aimed to recreate; replicating the landscapes of mountain ranges where snow leopards naturally roam. Sumbe and Padme are the most recent Ex Situ Programme pairing that we have at the Zoo, with programmes such as these important to ensuring healthy populations of vulnerable and endangered species are maintained. We had hoped that our breeding pair would find comfort and familiarity in their new home with potential to breed – and they did just that!”

“The viewing window to the visible indoor habitat will be opened from Monday 1st July 2024 where visitors may enjoy a glimpse of Padme and her cub if they are ready to begin to move around. We look forward to welcoming visitors who are able to share in this rare opportunity with us.”

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