Qinghai zoo announces the birth of rare snow leopard twins

By Sushmita Dhekne, August 14, 2014

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It's raining cubs this season, as the Wildlife Park of Xining welcomed a pair of snow leopards on June 14. The twins were successfully bred at China's first captive-breeding program for snow leopards to mother Er Bao, 7, and Ning Ning, 5. 

Deputy curator of the zoo, Qi Xinzhang said:

The death rate of leopard newborns is very high in the first months after they are born. So it's an unwritten rule that we can only say the breeding program is a success after the cubs have emerged from the first two months in good health

Qi added that the gender of the twins is still unknown. The park hopes to introduce the twins to the public in September, when they are stronger and closer to their mother. 

Since the 80s the park, the largest of it's kind, has successfully bred seven snow leopard cubs: three in 1984, twins in 1985 and another couple of twins in 2012.

China is currently home to 2,000 to 2,500 wild snow leopards. The species has almost been driven to extinction due to changing habitats and poachers. 


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