News Release
 
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351, sondra.katzen@czs.org
 
August 26, 2020                                                   
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 

Photo Captions

9086: Ahava, a snow leopard cub born May 22 at Brookfield Zoo, is currently behind the scenes with her mom Malaya. The cub is scheduled to make her public debut in a few weeks. Snow leopards are listed as a vulnerable species on the IUCN’s Red List. The Snow Leopard Trust, estimates there are from 3,500 to 7,000 of these elusive cats remaining in the wild. Threats to the species include habitat loss, illegal hunting for the fur trade, a decline in their prey, civil unrest, and retribution killing following livestock losses.
 
1597, 1927, 9118, 9126, 9145, 9154: Ahava, a 3-month-old snow leopard cub at Brookfield Zoo, is currently behind the scenes bonding with her mom. She will make her public debut in a few weeks. Brookfield Zoo has exhibited snow leopards since 1936.

 
Snow Leopard Cub Born at Brookfield Zoo
 

 
Brookfield, Ill.—The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS), which manages Brookfield Zoo, is happy to announce the birth of a female snow leopard cub born on May 22. The cub, named Ahava (pronounced Ah-ha-va), which is Hebrew for the word love, is currently bonding with her mother, Malaya, behind the scenes. The 3-month-old cub is expected to make her public debut in a few weeks. Until then, the public can view images of the cub on the zoo’s Facebook page.

Malaya was born at Brookfield Zoo in 2015. Her mate, Buck, arrived at the zoo in 2017 from Philadelphia Zoo. The two were introduced to each other based on a recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP), which CZS is a participating institution. An SSP is a cooperative population management and conservation program for select species in accredited North American zoos and aquariums. Each SSP manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. Currently, there are 137 snow leopards living in 53 institutions in North America. Brookfield Zoo has exhibited snow leopards since 1936.

Snow leopards are listed as a vulnerable species on the Red List by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s oldest and largest global environmental organization. The Snow Leopard Trust, estimates there are from 3,500 to 7,000 of these elusive cats remaining in the wild. Native to the sometimes harsh and remote habitats throughout the mountain ranges of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Threats to the species include habitat loss, illegal hunting for the fur trade, a decline in their prey, civil unrest, and retribution killing following livestock losses.

The species is definitely well suited for living at extreme elevations. It has long, thick fur that is soft gray or cream in color covered with graying black spots helping it blend in with its environment. Its large paws help keep the cat from sinking into the snow like snowshoes. They are excellent jumpers and use the long tail, which is nearly as long as its entire body, for balance as well as for covering exposed body parts against severe weather conditions.

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About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. The zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, and CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit CZS.org.

 
 
 

MEDIA CONTACT:

Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071
E-mail: Sondra.Katzen@CZS.org

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