Snow leopard cub debuts at Bronx Zoo

There’s nothing scary about this furry little ghost.

A female snow leopard cub recently made her debut at the Bronx Zoo and is already charming visitors with her playful antics.

The cub, who has not yet been named, was born this summer and is now exploring the Himalayan Highlands exhibit with her mom K2.

Snow leopards have the moniker “ghost cats” because of their gray-colored coats, which provide camouflage against the rocks and snow, according to officials at the Wildlife Conservation Society. The big cats are found in parts of Central Asia and China, Mongolia, Russia, India and Bhutan.

The new youngster has some serious zoo roots. Her grandfather, Leo, was an orphan rescued from Pakistan and brought to the Bronx in 2006 — marking a historic joint effort of WCS and the United States and Pakistani governments.

“This snow leopard cub is special not only because it is an ambassador for its species, but because of its lineage,” said Dr. Patrick Thomas, WCS vice president and general curator, and Bronx Zoo associate director, who was part of the delegation who brought Leo from Pakistan. “Leo and his descendants, including this cub, will help bolster the health and genetics of the snow leopard population in AZA-accredited zoos,” referring to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

The zoo carefully breeds snow leopards as part of the Species Survival Plan. Officials said more than 70 have been born at the Bronx Zoo.

The majestic animals are considered threatened due to loss of habitat and poaching.

This is the final weekend of the “Boo at the Zoo,” program which offers special Halloween-themed activities for visitors and zoo residents. For more information go to bronxzoo.com.

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