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Notes, comments and observations from the Lifestyle and Entertainment desk by Lifestyle Editor Aixa Torregrosa-Vazquez.

Friday, November 18, 2011

So much cuteness

Making their debut recently at the  Philadelphia Zoo were  snow leopard cubs Kimti and Dian,  born to Maya, the Zoo’s 3-year-old female snow leopard and Amga the Zoo’s 5- year-old male snow leopard on Thursday, June 9th.  This is the first litter for both cats. The cubs are the first snow leopards ever born at the Philadelphia Zoo and in the First Niagara Big Cat Falls exhibit, continuing the Zoo’s successful breeding of big cats.

The cub’s debut was slightly delayed because they had minor surgery to correct eyelid abnormalities. In this condition, called an upper eyelid coloboma, a portion of the upper eyelid fails to develop properly, leaving a gap at the edge of the eyelid which can lead to eye irritation. The cause of this condition is not well understood, but it occurs in a variety of animals and in humans, and appears to be more common in snow leopards than in other species. The cubs have otherwise developed well, playing, eating, running and jumping normally. Each weigh approximately 28 pounds each.

Snow leopards have endangered status in the wild due to habitat destruction, conflict with humans, and poaching.


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