BROOKFIELD – The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages the Brookfield Zoo, was pleased as punch to announce the birth of a new snow leopard cub at the zoo.
The male cub was born June 13 and currently weighs about 10 pounds. Zoo officials are waiting until the cub is 3 months old before he makes his public debut in mid-September to allow for bonding between mom and cub.
The cub was born to 3-year-old Sarani and her mate, Sabu, 3. Both leopards arrived at the zoo in October 2011 from Tautphaus Park Zoo in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Cape May County Park Zoo in New Jersey, respectively. The two were brought to the zoo as part of a breeding program designed to maintain a healthy and genetically diverse population of snow leopards in zoos.
Snow leopards are an endangered species. According to zoo officials, only 3,500 to 7,000 are thought to exist in the wild.
Brookfield Zoo has exhibited snow leopards since 1936.