A 17-pound snow leopard, born this spring at the Bronx Zoo, is now on display, the first son of an orphaned snow leopard from Pakistan.
The cub, still unnamed, is the offspring of Leo, who was brought to the zoo after his mother and siblings were killed in 2005 in Pakistan. Snow leopards are tricky to breed in captivity since there is a brief window of fertility each year. Leo’s first attempt was not successful. But earlier this year, zoo officials paired him with Maya, a proven breeder, and the match took.
The new cub was born on April 9; officials at the zoo wanted to make sure that he was healthy and well adjusted before officially putting him on display. Until now, the cub and Maya have been kept out of public view. (In the wild, snow leopard fathers leave the scene after mating and play no role in rearing their young; so Leo, who weighs 83 pounds, is in a separate enclosure in the same exhibit, Himalayan Highlands.)
On Friday, ignoring a reporter, the cub tumbled over a rocky outcropping, playfully stalked his 66-pound mother and rubbed his face against a log. The cub is still nursing, but he has started eating solid food, primarily raw chicken. . .