Posted September 2020
The Milwaukee County Zoo is excited to announce the debut of its newest resident in Big Cat Country, female snow leopard cub, Milja.
Milja (MEE-lah) was born May 11 to first-time mother and father, Oyra and Asa. At 3 months old, she weighed ~8 pounds; her most recent weight is about 20 pounds.
Zookeepers report Milja is now eating solid food and developing well. For her first few months, Milja spent time with Orya in the off-exhibit area to bond and benefit from “quiet time.” Now at almost 5 months old, Milja can navigate the outdoor Snow Leopard habitat and spends a lot of time with mom, following Orya and learning from her. As her confidence grows, she’s becoming more independent, moving about more on her own, and has also met dad, Asa, through mesh fencing. Keepers comment Milja definitely has an “in charge” attitude! She eats a diet of meat, sharing 5 pounds daily with Orya.
Orya, who is 6 years old, arrived in 2016 from Zoo Zurich in Switzerland. She’s the second of two snow leopards acquired by MCZ as a result of the Greater Milwaukee
Foundation’s (GMF) Gifts to the Community, a program that offered special opportunities and experiences throughout the region. The first snow leopard was the cub’s father, Asa. Asa, also 6 years old, arrived in 2015 from the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York.
Orya’s mother, Dshamilja, was born in the wild, and her genetic lines are considered valuable and will be passed on to the cub. The name Milja was chosen by GMF in honor of Dshamilja, and the significance of the Zoo’s snow leopards’ lineage.
The Milwaukee County Zoo’s Amazon Wish List for Milja features enrichment items to help in her development and enhance her natural instincts and behaviors. To view the list and/or donate, visit the Zoo’s website at milwaukeezoo.org; click on Wish List.
The Zoo’s Gift Shop has several plush Snow Leopards you can bring home with you today! Made from recycled water bottles, these plush can be found on the “Save the Future-Share the World” section of the online store, click here.
Click on the thumbnails for larger photos and descriptions.