The Dudley Zoological Gardens close to Birmingham, England is celebrating their newest arrival: an eight-week-old Snow Leopard cub. The cub is the first Snow Leopard to be born at the zoo in twelve years. It was born on May 2, and has been nicknamed Cub X by keepers until they confirm its sex.
The baby made its public debut recently and delighted visitors with five-minute play-arounds with mom, Nanga, aged four. Dad is three-year-old Margaash. Assistant Curator Richard Brown said, “Nanga is a first-time mum so it’s such a relief that they have bonded well. You can see the baby developing every day, it’s wonderful to watch, and already it seems quite a feisty little cub.”
Photographer Tal Choha said, ”The youngster’s routine at the moment is to sleep for two hours, play for five minutes, sleep for two hours, then play for another five minutes, so I had to make sure I got there in time for those crucial five minutes!”
Snow Leopards originate from Central Asia, including Afghanistan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan, where they inhabit remote scree slopes and forests between altitudes of about 6,000 to 18,000 feet (1,800 to 5,500 m). They are listed as Threatened on the International Union for Conservation (IUCN) of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.