The Akron Zoo snow leopard cubs will make their first appearance August 13, 2012.

AKRON, Ohio – The snow leopard cubs that were born on May 14, 2012 at the zoo will make their first public appearance on Monday, August 13, 2012 from 10:15 – 10:45 a.m. They will continue to be on exhibit everyday during those hours for the time being until they are bigger and can be out longer. The zoo will also be holding a naming contest. The zoo has narrowed the choices down to five and people can vote for two of the five names at www.akronzoo.org The contest starts today, August 10, 2012 and will run through Monday, August 20, 2012.
 
The five choices people are able to vote for are Tai (tie), which means “mountain” in Mongolic language and is the where the snow leopards inhabit; Layan (LAY-an) which is short for Himalayan Mountains, where snow leopards are indigenous to, and also means gentle and soft; Raj (r ah j) meaning “king” or “rule,” origin is Indian; Kovo (cove-O) meaning “strong,” origin is Indian; and Sabu (SAH-boo) which is the Tibetan word for snow leopard. At the conclusion of the contest everyone that has chosen the winning combination will be entered into a drawing and one winner will be selected to win a sponsorship of the cubs for one year which includes a certificate, a photo and a stuffed snow leopard toy.
 
Currently at 12 weeks old the cubs weigh about 12 pounds and are thriving. According to their primary keeper, Sarah Kirkman, “The cubs are starting to act more and more like snow leopards. They have displayed great balance just in the past week or two and have been climbing and jumping and becoming a lot more adventurous. Their mom, Shanti, has been doing wonderfully with them and has been great at tolerating them climbing all over her and is very playful with them.”

Snow leopards are an endangered species and only nine cubs have been born this year that are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) in the United States. Snow leopards are an endangered species 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 only 155 snow leopards in the SSP in the U.S. and there are believed to be as few as 4,000 left in the wild. 

The Akron Zoo is open 361 days a year. The Akron Zoo hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and admission is $10 for adults, $8.50 for senior citizens, $7 for children (ages 2-14). Children under two are free and parking is $2. For more information visit www.akronzoo.org or call (330) 375-2550.

Founded in 1953, the Akron Zoo is a non-profit, world conservation Zoo with over 700 animals from around the world. Located just west of Downtown Akron, the Zoo strives to provide a dynamic, financially responsible, guest centered animal experience that is energized by innovation and fun. The Akron Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.

Submitted by:
David Barnhardt
Director of Marketing & Guest Services
Ph – (330) 375-2550 ext. 7238

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