Photo of the Day #37: Juvenile Snow Leopard

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Up until a few years ago I had never seen a Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) in captivity, but the Bronx Zoo has had great success in keeping the big cats as well as breeding them. In addition to taking in "Leo," a male Snow Leopard on loan from Pakistan, on June 7, 2006 the adult female Mei Mei gave birth to two females, one of which is pictured above. In fact, over 80 snow leopard cubs have been born at WCS zoos so far, the group expanding their snow leopard habitats with a new exhibit at the Central Park Zoo due to open in 2009. Snow Leopards are still threatened in the wild, however, and as far as I know captive breeding programs are not replenishing wild stocks (although money generated at WCS zoos and others do go to fund conservation initiatives), and if you would like some more information on how to help wild populations please visit The Snow Leopard Trust.

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