SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – There is a baby snow leopard at the Sacramento Zoo!
Misha gave birth to two snow leopard cubs on May 6th- the first snow leopard births at the Sacramento Zoo since 2006.
One of the cubs passed away a few days after being born. Initial exams show the cub had severe birth defects, but a full necropsy is being performed.
The surviving cub weighed 1.35 pounds and appears to be healthy. Both the cub and his mom are being housed in an off-exhibit maternity den and are being monitored by veterinarians on closed-circuit video. Zoo staff says Misha, who is five, is taking excellent care of her little boy and displays positive maternal behaviors.
Misha and the cub’s father, Blizzard, were matched together through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan. Veterinarians confirmed in April that Misha was expecting. The gestation period for a snow leopard is approximately 100 days. Snow leopards typically give birth to one to four cubs but the cubs are susceptible to high mortality rates, according to the Zoo. The rates are higher for first time mothers.
Misha and the cub will not be on exhibit until later this summer. At that time the cub should routinely be leaving the nest and navigating his new habitat.