Two rare snow leopard
cubs recently made their debut at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo in New York.
The unnamed male cubs are on display with their mother in the zoo’s Himalayan Highlands habitat.
The two cubs were born on May 6 to first-time parents as part of the Species Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding program designed to enhance genetic diversity of animal populations.
The Bronx Zoo has had more than 70 snow leopard births — more than any other North American zoo.
Snow leopards are among the world’s most endangered big cats with only an estimated 3,500 to 7,5000 remaining in the wild.
The WCS, which is based at the Bronx Zoo, has been working for decades to conserve snow leopard populations in Asia.
In Pakistan, the organization has implemented a community-based conservation program that includes more than 60 natural resource committees and more than 100 community rangers.
Participants monitor snow leopard populations throughout the country and work to stop deforestation and poaching, two of the biggest threats to the cats.
The WCS is also active in Afghanistan
where it’s partnered with the Afghan government to create laws that protect snow leopards.
Afghani community rangers have also taken more than 1,000 camera trap photos of the animals and outfitted five leopards with satellite collars so researchers can study their behavior.
In April, the country announced the creation of its second protected area, Wakhan National Park, which preserves more than 70 percent of Afghanistan’s snow leopard habitat.
In the view below, watch the Bronx Zoo’s adorable young leopard cubs pounce and play in their new home.
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