The latest Chicago-area zoo baby has more than a little spring in his step.
Not to be outdone by Lincoln Park Zoo's black rhino calf that debuted Tuesday, the Brookfield Zoo's 3-month old snow leopard cub was all paws bouncing, pouncing and over everything in sight for his public debut Wednesday morning.
The still-unnamed cub was born in June to 3-year-old mom Sarani and her mate Sabu, 3, the zoo said in a release. The parents were brought together from zoos in Idaho and New Jersey as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP).
The zoo says some 140 cats live in 60 institutions in North America, though their natural habitat is of the more rugged Central Asian mountain variety.
The Snow Leopard Trust estimates there are between 4,000 and 6,500 snow leopards left in the wild. 1992 was the last time a snow leopard cub was born at Brookfield Zoo, which has exhibited the animals since the 1930s.