Posted July 2020
The Milwaukee County Zoo is pleased to announce the birth of a female snow leopard cub on May 11. The cub, who is not yet named, is the first offspring for mother, Oyra, and father, Asa. Animal care staff report the cub is doing well in the off-exhibit den with her mother. She will be 2 months old tomorrow, July 11.
She has been weighed several times since her birth, and on July 8, she weighed about 8 pounds. (For exams and weight checks, she’s separated from her mother no more than 5 minutes each time.) During this exam, the cub received her first vaccinations, and an ophthalmologist was on hand to check a minor eye issue. Her vision is fine.
Zookeepers report the cub is regularly nursing from mom and will continue to do so until she’s a few months old. She’ll get her first taste of meat soon. At a few months of age, she’ll also receive her own diet of solid food. Both the cub and Orya will remain off-exhibit for several more weeks to bond and benefit from “quiet time.”
Orya, who is 6 years old, arrived in 2016 from Zoo Zurich in Switzerland. Orya is the second of two snow leopards acquired by MCZ as a result of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s 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, who is also 6 years old, arrived here in 2015 from the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse.
Because Orya’s mother, Dshamilja, was born in the wild, and was part of the European Endangered Species Programme, her genetic lines are considered valuable and will be passed on to the new cub. The last snow leopard birth at MCZ was in 2014.
The Milwaukee County Zoo’s Amazon Wish List for the new cub features enrichment items to help in her development and enhance her natural instincts and behaviors. To view the list and/or donate, please click here.
Click on the thumbnails for larger photos.