New snow leopard makes Duluth his homeThe Lake Superior Zoo is excited to introduce “Kiran," a young male snow leopard who arrived four weeks ago from ABQ BioPark Zoo in Albuquerque, N.M.
The Lake Superior Zoo is excited to introduce “Kiran” (pronounced “kih’-ran”), a young male snow leopard who arrived four weeks ago from ABQ BioPark Zoo in Albuquerque, N.M. Kiran, who will be 2 years old in July, was placed on exhibit this week and is adjusting well in his new enclosure.
“He’s a rather shy guy, but he has been exploring his elevated platforms, using the heated rock, as well as eating all of his allotted diet,” said Maicie Sykes, lead keeper at the Lake Superior Zoo “These are all signs that he’s adjusting well to his new life in snowy and chilly northern Minnesota.”
Kiran replaces “Harry,” who was transferred to Zoo New England, located in Massachusetts, in late January because he was recommended for breeding with their female snow leopard by the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (AZA) Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP).
Harry will become an important part in helping the survival of his snow leopard species when he is introduced to his female companion.
“We do miss Harry but we are thrilled by the possibility that the ‘pitter-patter of little paws’ may be coming soon for Zoo New England!” Sykes said. “His mission is an important one and we wish him and his new companion the very best!”
The Association of Zoo and Aquariums (AZA) launched the Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP) in 1984 after declining numbers labeled the species as endangered.
Snow leopards have fallen victim to the fur trade since the early 1900s. Today, laws and legal protection in twelve countries have slowed the decline of the wild populations, but poaching still occurs as snow leopards are seen as predators of farmer's livestock.
The Snow Leopard SSP has been successful in creating a stable captive population of snow leopards in over 70 North American zoos. The captive population stands at approximately 650 well-managed individuals, approximately 10 percent of all snow leopards on earth.
Learn more about snow leopards by visiting Kiran at the Lake Superior Zoo. Go to www.lszoo.org and plan your visit today. The Lake Superior Zoo is open 7 days a week.