Snow Leopard Cub Melting Hearts at Bronx Zoo
PELHAM PARKWAY — Leo, an orphaned snow leopard famously rescued from a mountain peak in northern Pakistan and brought to New York, has fathered his first cub, who is now charming visitors to the Bronx Zoo.
The black-spotted cub, who was born in April to Maya, a snow leopard brought in from Illinois to mate with Leo, recently made his debut to the public after the zoo found him to be in fine health.
Visitors can now watch the still-unnamed cub scurry and occasionally slip on the rocks in the zoo's Himalayan Highlands exhibit.
His father, Leo, has become something of an ambassador since 2006, when the Pakistani government allowed the Wildlife Conservation Society to send the orphaned cub to the Bronx Zoo, which is considered a world leader in snow leopard care.
The Bronx Zoo has fostered 70 births of the highly endangered big cats — more than any other North American zoo.
"Not only is the cub a milestone in Leo's personal story," said Patrick Thomas, the Bronx Zoo’s associate director, "but it serves as a unifying symbol that people of different cultures can celebrate."