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Brookfield Zoo's Snow Leopard Cub Takes Her First Steps Outside

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: September 10, 2020 12:10 pm

Snow leopard cub Brookfield

Ahava, a 3-month-old snow leopard cub, made her public debut today, September 9, at Brookfield Zoo.

Photo Credit: Chicago Zoological Society

An unseasonably cool day in Chicago has proved the perfect opportunity for the snow leopard cub at Brookfield Zoo to venture outside. This is the first time she has stepped outside since her birth on May 22nd. Since then she has been bonding with mum, Malaya since her birth.

The cub is named Ahava which is the Hebrew word for love.

Snow leopard cub Brookfield
Snow leopard cub Brookfield

Ahava, a 3-month-old snow leopard cub, with her mother Malaya. The cub made her public debut today, September 9, at Brookfield Zoo.

Photo Credit: Chicago Zoological Society

On her first adventure in to the big, wide world Ahava appeared inquisitive as she explored the outside area and the zoo’s big cat walkways. As she gets to know the enclosure Ahava will be spending a few hours each day outside. This will increase as her confidence does.

Ahava will spend the next two years bonding with Malaya before becoming independent.

Snow leopard cub Brookfield

Ahava, a 3-month-old snow leopard cub, with her mother Malaya. The cub made her public debut today, September 9, at Brookfield Zoo.

Photo Credit: Chicago Zoological Society

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Once she is independent from her mother a species coordinator for the snow leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP) will find a suitable zoo accredited by the association of zoos and aquariums (AZA) for her to live. The SSP manages the breeding of animals in zoos to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

Snow leopard are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Natures (IUCN) red list. As few as 3,500-7,000 snow leopards are estimated to remain in the mountain ranges of Asia. Their numbers have declined as a result of civil unrest, killings after they take livestock and hunting for their thick fur.

Snow leopard cub Brookfield

Ahava, a 3-month-old snow leopard cub, with her mother Malaya. The cub made her public debut today, September 9, at Brookfield Zoo.

Photo Credit: Chicago Zoological Society

Learn more about Snow Leopard Snow Leopard Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Brookfield Zoo on their website – Brookfield Zoo

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