(PIX11) – The Bronx Zoo unveiled an adorable snow leopard cub Tuesday, the first cub sired by an orphaned leopard rescued from Pakistan.
The almost five-month-old male cub is the offspring of Maya and Leo, a snow leopard which was rescued in a ground-breaking agreement between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the United States in 2006.
“The rescue of Leo as a cub, conducted by two nations the continued global interest in him, and now the story of his first offspring shows the power of the connections between humans and nature,” said Jim Breheny, Director of the Bronx Zoo and WCS Executive Vice President of Zoos and Aquariums.
The zoo says the unnamed cub is genetically important to the zoo population.
Snow leopards are critically endangered, with scientists estimating as few as 3,500-7,500 of the big cats are left in the wild. The cats range from remote mountains of Central Asia and parts of China, to Mongolia, Russia, India and Bhutan.
“Leo – and his new cub – are living proof of the importance, power, and significance of saving wildlife. Leo has helped bring people together from around the world in an effort to save this iconic animal, and WCS is committed to working with our partners in Pakistan to help save snow leopards in the wild – as a critical component and a beautiful symbol of Pakistan’s great mountain wilderness,” said WCS Asia Program Deputy Director Peter Zahler.
The cub is on display with his mother at the Himalayan Highlands exhibit.