Baby Leopards at S.F. Zoo Spotted for First Time

Two tiny snow leopard cubs made their public debut at the San Francisco Zoo Thursday, at the tender age of nine weeks old.

Image: Marianne Hale, SF Zoo

Behold the cute overload of the two snow leopard cubs at the San Francisco Zoo, who went on a public prowl for the first time since being born June 7. The little cubbers had not ventured outside their den yet until Thursday afternoon, but zoo attendees got a treat yesterday when the the baby leopards first set foot in an outdoor enclosure.

 

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “the cubs cautiously crept across their grassy enclosure and sniffed tree bark and dirt, and their mother watched closely as one of the cubs dashed toward the corner of the glass enclosure.”

The little nippers do not have names yet, and will not have a regular schedule of public viewing until they’ve grown out of infancy. But parents “Dawa” and “Jimmy G” are zoo regulars. This Dawa’s first pregnancy.

According to the San Francisco Zoo snow leopard page, snow leopards really do roam in snow. “Snow leopards live at high-altitude alpine and sub-alpine mountain ranges of the Himalayas including Nepal, China and Central Asia,” the zoo says.

While the zoo points out that this species of leopard “can bring down prey more than three times its size,” they’re still endangered because they’re hunted for fur and bones. Fewer than 8,000 of snow leopards still exist in the wild.

These aren’t the zoo’s first snow leopards, and 30 of these magnificent kitties have been born and raised here since 1969.

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