The three snow leopard cubs, born March 5, will make their public debut early in June. But before they do, the Akron Zoo is asking the public’s help in naming the newest additions to this endangered species. The naming contest, which is sponsored by Akron Children’s Hospital, will run through May 16. Everyone is welcome to submit their suggested names by emailing [email protected].
The zoo will narrow down the suggested names to six possibilities. The cubs and their mother, Shanti, will then help pick the winning names. The people who submitted the winning names will receive free admission to the zoo and a snow leopard prize pack.
“We are happy to partner with Akron Children’s Hospital to ask the community for help naming these beautiful snow leopard cubs. Akron Children’s provides exceptional care for newborns, and so do we, here at the Akron Zoo. Our youngsters may look different because of the scales, feathers or fur but the professional care and attention they receive come from a heartfelt passion and belief in our mission to save wildlife and wild places,” added Akron Zoo President & CEO, Doug Piekarz. “The birth of these cubs is extremely significant to the preservation of this endangered species and this naming contest presents a rare and unique opportunity to be a part of their lives.”
“Akron Children’s is always honored when a family trusts us to care for their child and we feel the same way about the Akron Zoo and their three new bundles of joy,” said William Considine, president of Akron Children’s Hospital. “The bond that caregivers – human or animal – develop with the smallest of patients and their parents is very special. And, soon, we will all experience this first-hand when the newly named cubs debut.”
Currently at seven weeks old the cubs, one female and two males, weigh about seven pounds and are doing extremely well under the attentive and watchful eye of their mother, Shanti, and the professional animal care staff who work with her while she is in her cubbing area daily. The cubs are now becoming more adventurous and have begun playing and climbing. Male snow leopards do not participate in cub rearing, so the cubs’ father, Roscoe, is in his exhibit daily until the cubs make their debut.
Snow leopards are endangered primarily due to loss of habitat, illegal poaching for their pelts and body parts and killings by local herders when a snow leopard has preyed on their livestock. There are 153 snow leopards in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) in the U.S. and there are believed to be as few as 4,000 left in the wild.
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