Young cubs find their feet at zoo

BANHAM: Three adorable snow leopard cubs have been busy finding their feet before being introduced to the public.

The cubs, now 10 weeks old, have recently had their first vaccinations and medical checks and are now preparing to discover the rocky terrain of their enclosure at Banham Zoo, in Norfolk.

Staff have prepared a nursery area in the outside enclosure so that the cubs are able to access part of the zoos recently constructed ‘Province of the snow cat’ - which was opened in April 2009.

While the cubs remain slightly tentative, they are growing in confidence and have begun to explore their surroundings under the watchful gaze of mum Enif.

Born in May 2010 in a purpose built cubbing box, the development of the cubs was monitored using infrared CCTV camera placed in all four corners of the box.

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A spokesperson for Banham Zoo said: “Snow leopards are an endangered species and Banham Zoo have been involved in the European Breeding Programme for this species for over 25 years. The first pair arrived at the zoo from zoological collections in the USA and Finland.”

The cubs will remain at the zoo for at least 18 months after which they will be mature enough to be transferred to other zoos within the European breeding programme.

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