New Baby in Minnesota Is Ready to Meet All the Animal Lovers
A few months ago, Minnesota heard the exciting news about a brand new resident. An adorable Snow Leopard was born at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory on May 6th, 2023 and the photos of this new bundle of joy were THE cutest. (See those pics here.)
Exciting news! Como Zoo has a new resident – a snow leopard cub! A single female snow leopard cub was born May 6th to parents Alya (9) and Moutig (10). This is the pair’s second successful offspring as part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) recommendation.
This breeding was carefully planned and recommended by the The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP). Como Zoo is a longtime participant in the Snow Leopard SSP, which is a cooperative, inter-zoo program coordinated nationally through the AZA. SSPs help to ensure the survival of selected species in zoos and aquariums, most of which are threatened or endangered, and enhance conservation of these species in the wild.
Mom and her cub will remain off exhibit until later this summer when the cub would be routinely leaving the nest area and coordinated enough to navigate the habitat. - Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Facebook Page
New Snow Leopard in Minnesota Is Ready to Meet All of the Animal Lovers
The day has finally arrived when Willow, the new Snow Leopard, can meet all of her animal-loving friends in Minnesota. Como Park Zoo & Conservatory shared the news with a few adorable video clips earlier this week.
Willow, Como’s baby Snow Leopard, made her public debut today, with mom, Alya, closely shadowing her. Although she’s blind, she’s very mobile and seems to love exploring!
We just can't get enough of Willow!
Did I Just Read That The Baby Snow Leopard in Minnesota is Blind?
Baby Willow was born on May 6th with eyelid abnormalities that were noticed right away. Dr. Melissa Lively, a Veterinary ophthalmologist confirmed that baby Willow has Multiple Ocular Colobomas, which is a permanent condition that can not be repaired.
Blindness is Willow's way of life at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, which truthfully is one of the best places for her.
“But because she’s never had vision, she’s never known anything different, and she’ll be able to do everything a normal snow leopard cub could do. We know that cats are fantastic at using their touch, their hearing, and their sense of smell to explore their habitat and run zoomies just like a visual cub would do. In the wild, this cub would not survive moving through vast environments without being able to see where prey is coming from, but in this zoo setting blind cats can thrive. Especially with all of the great care they get at Como Zoo.” - Dr. Melissa Lively