Skip to main content

Como Zoo celebrates first snow leopard cub birth in 12 years

Mother and cub are being monitored via video camera right now.

The Como Zoo is celebrating the birth of a snow leopard for the first time in 12 years, calling it part of a "significant, successful" breeding plan.

Alya, the 4-year old mother, gave birth to the cub on April 30, the first child for both she and the father, 6-year-old Moutig. Alya and the cub - whose gender is not yet known - will remain off exhibit until later in the summer, the zoo says, allowing them to bond in a quiet space.

For now, they'll be monitored by zoo staff via video camera. Alya has so far shown "exceptional" care to her cub, the zoo adds.

The cub's name will be determined via an auction, as part of the zoo's annual Sunset Affair Gala.

Why is this so significant?

Well first off, it is the first snow leopard birth at Como Zoo in 12 years.

But in addition, as Como explains, Alya came from Germany and Moutig from France as a breeding pair, with a number of North American zoos vying for them. But Como won out, in part because of Minnesota's climate and the zoo's history with snow leopards, Como says.

The breeding was "carefully planned and recommended" by the Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan, under the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Snow leopards are considered a vulnerable species - not as dire as "endangered," but still at risk. The main threats are poaching, loss of prey, and breaking up of habitat, Como Zoo says.

And here's some pretty great description of their behavior, provided by the zoo:

With their thick, cream-colored coats and gray-black spots, snow leopards camouflage so well within their rocky habitat high in the Himalayas that they are known as the “ghosts of the mountains.” With the ability to leap down heights of 60 feet, snow leopards are said to be the most agile of the “big cats.”

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 10.18.12 AM

3 St. Paul fast food restaurants robbed in space of an hour

The thieves struck between 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 9.06.40 AM

What to do with the Kmart site? Minneapolis wants your ideas

The project will connect Nicollet Avenue south of Lake street and north of the Midtown Greenway, reestablishing a street grid.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 7.53.55 AM

Crowd evacuated at end of homecoming football game in Brooklyn Park

Police blamed 'unruly teens' in the stands and some who were trying to enter the stadium.

gas

State to help 44 Minnesota gas stations add E15 pumps

The yellow 88 button is coming to more gas stations in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

FBI, police investigating bank robbery at Edina's 50th and France

An ATM technician was robbed by four men at a U.S. Bank.

Ethan Glynn

Paralyzed Bloomington football player begins rehabilitation in Colorado

Ethan Glynn is at a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital.

Press Bar fire

Owner of St. Cloud bar gets 6 years for arson, ordered to repay $3M

A February 2020 fire at the Press Bar and Parlor was later determined to be an insurance job.

IMG_5455

Bloomington, Richfield districts tighten security ahead of weekend football

Enhanced safety measures will be in place this weekend.

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 2.23.15 PM

Walz sends MN first responders to help with hurricane recovery in Florida

Eight members of the Minnesota All Hazards Incident Management Team will travel to Florida.

Related

polar bear 2

Video: Como Zoo welcomes new polar bear named Nan

The 26-year-old bear was found orphaned under a home in Alaska.

polar bear como zoo

Young polar bear joining the celebration at Como Zoo

The bear is part of a new Burr on Fur program that will help wild polar bears.

reindeer como zoo

Watch live: Como Zoo's live reindeer cam is back for December

The live feed will run 24/7 allowing you to keep an eye on Santa's antlered helpers.

como zoo conservatory

Conservatory at the Como Zoo is reopening on Monday

Face coverings and advanced (free) reservations are required.

Como Zoo hopes its 2 new snow leopards will have babies by next year

These cats are critical to the survival of snow leopards.

Como Zoo hopes its 2 new snow leopards will have babies by next year

These cats are critical to the survival of snow leopards.