Snow leopard born at Como Zoo, mother and cub in good health

A pair of snow leopards at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul are parents once again.

A baby snow leopard was born on May 6 to parents 10-year-old Moutig and nine-year-old Alya, from France and Germany respectively, the zoo announced Thursday. This is their second baby as a part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), an inter-zoo breeding program run by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

Staff and veterinarians from the zoo noted that Alya has been “an excellent, protective mother displaying positive maternal behaviors and exhibiting exceptional care of her cub.”

Alya and her cub will not be available for zoo-goers to visit until later this summer when the cub begins navigating the habitat. Snow leopard cubs are dependent on their mothers and do not leave the den until about three months of age, zoo officials say.

The Como Zoo noted that snow leopards are no longer endangered, but the species is classified as “vulnerable” due to loss of habitat, poaching and loss of prey.

The naming rights for the snow leopard cub will be auctioned off in July as a part of Como Friends annual Sunset Affair Gala. All proceeds support continued improvements and operations of Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, and its education and conservation programs.