Snow leopards born in UK
3rd September 2011
Three cubs were born in June and have now made their first public appearance. The animals are a threatened species and a breeding programme across the world is trying to restore their numbers.
They were born at Marwell Wildlife, near Winchester in Hampshire, on June 2nd.
The cubs have been kept inside while vets monitored their health and innoculated them. The animals recently took their first steps outside.
For a video of the animals see this story from the BBC including an interview with one of their keepers, Marc Fox.
Regular readers will know that we have covered the plight of the snow leopard on PlanetSKI and reported on the world-wide breeding programme to protect the unique mountain cat.
They live in the mountain in Asia and it is thought between 5,000 and 7,000 remain. Their numbers have gone down 16% in the last 20 years.
Recently a number were on camera in the Wakhan corridor in north-eastern Afghanistan giving fresh hope for the species.
They were filmed by conservationists using remote cameras.
There are several breeding programmes at zoos around the world to increase the number including this one at a zoo in South Wales.
At Marwell Wildlife the new cubs and their mother, Irina, are said to be doing well.
If you want to know more about the snow leopard see this PlanetSKI feature that we wrote a couple of years ago.
For the spirit of the mountains