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Checking in on Snow Leopard Milja

Snow leopard Milja

Posted May 2021

We’re happy to report snow leopard Milja marked her first birthday on May 11! Milja was born May 11, 2020 to mom, Orya, and father, Asa.

Keepers shared this recent update on how she’s doing:

For keepers who care for Milja daily, they say it’s been fun to watch her grow, and her most recent weight was about 50 pounds.

Snow leopard MiljaDuring her first weeks and months of life, she spent a lot of time inside, in the den with mom. Orya exhibits traits of a wild snow leopard, such as elusiveness, and a preference to be alone. Early on, Milja mirrored those traits and was shy and quiet. She’s now showing another side to her “personality,” becoming very playful and fun.

When visitors come to see Milja in the outdoor snow leopard habitat, she may not be visible immediately. Look up high on the right side of the habitat rockwork where she can often be seen perched on a rock! Keepers say this is one of her favorite spots to lay and investigate the habitat from above.

Milja seems to be content in the role of mom’s little sidekick, but she does come to her keepers for treats and training sessions.

Milja’s favorite foods are chicken and whole prey items. She also likes to shred and play with cabbage but doesn’t eat it – she prefers to toss the shreds in the air!

Recently, keepers have added some shade structures to the habitat in hopes she’ll spend time in shaded areas as the summer heat approaches.

Milja, like mother Orya, is now an ambassador for her counterparts in the wild. Our Zoo strives to protect and preserve her legacy should she have cubs of her own in the future. Sadly, wild snow leopards face threats from poachers and the illegal wildlife trade. Because wild snow leopard numbers are dwindling, they need to be protected. Fortunately, visitors can benefit and learn about the species at our Zoo.

Serious about Snows? Visit the website for the Snow Leopard Trust, the largest and oldest organization working solely to protect the endangered snow leopard and its habitat in 12 countries of central Asia. Learn what you can do to become a part of snow leopard conservation: www.snowleopard.org


Photo Gallery

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Video: Snow leopard Milja celebrated her 1st birthday

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