Pictures of the Brookfield Zoo snow leopards are now making rounds on the internet after the zoo provided the first pictures of the cubs after their birth on June 16.
This is exciting news, as the snow leopard is listed as an endangered species, with only a total of 6,400 in 12 countries. Their number has diminished over the years because of habitat loss, hunting, and climate change, as reported by WWF.
The two Brookfield Zoo snow leopard cubs are the daughters of 4-year-old Sarani. According to Buzzfeed, the two cubs currently weigh about 10 pounds each. The snow leopards are not on exhibit right now as they are bonding with their mother in a den before they make their public appearance, which is said to be scheduled in the middle of October. As of writing, the two new snow leopards are yet to be named.
A zoo in Illinois announces the birth of two snow leopard cubs http://t.co/m1yHvNowRj pic.twitter.com/BsnVt6iqITThe post on the Brookfield Zoo Facebook page was accompanied by a short video that shows the two cute cubs playing together and being curious with a log. The pictures that followed show how white the fur of the snow leopards are and how mesmerizing their eyes can be.
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) August 29, 2015
The mother of the two leopard cubs, Sarani, has been with the Brookfield Zoo since October 2011. She arrived there from the Tautphaus Park Zoo in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Brookfield Zoo has been exhibiting snow leopards since 1936.
Snow leopards are typically found in the cold mountains of Central Asia. Because they are able to protect themselves from cold with their fur, they are able to sustain the cold conditions high up in the mountains. The WWF says that the snow leopard is capable of changing its fur based on the season. When it is winter, their furs are white, which serves as a camouflage and to keep them warm, while the furs turn to yellow-grey in the summer to keep up with the heat.
This isn't the first time this year that a Chicago zoo has been blessed with baby animals. Just a few days ago, the Lincoln Park Zoo made an announcement that the new additions to their family, two-month old red pandas, are ready to make their debut in a few weeks after they passed their physical examination, as ABC Chicago reports.
PHOTOS: @lincolnparkzoo's Baby Red Pandas Are Getting BIG! http://t.co/DP92ZTZCPOpic.twitter.com/fUZqLTK1HY — KHitsChicago (@KHitsChicago) August 26, 2015[Image via Chicago Zoological Society]