The latest arrival at Twycross Zoo in the Midlands, snow leopard twins, who made their first public appearance on 12 July, have now been named by the members of the zoo.
The sisters are now four months old and visitors can often see them playing in their habitat by the zoo’s Himalaya Centre.
The cubs are part of international efforts to save the species. Snow leopards are often killed by local farmers because they prey on livestock and the big cats are also hunted for their beautiful, warm fur. Experts estimate that there are only 4,000 to 6,500 snow leopards left in the wild.
The zoo’s keepers have proposed a choice of female names in keeping with the leopard’s natural home range across the vast high mountains of Central Asia and the zoo’s members voted for:
Eva – meaning “life”
Ceba – meaning “dear to hold”
As their older siblings, a boy and a girl born in 2011 and two boys born in 2013, these two female cubs are an important part in the international breeding programme that helps zoos maintain a genetically healthy managed population, which acts as a safety net for the species in the wild. Keepers at Twycross Zoo hope the two young girls become the next generation of breeding females in other zoos to help the conservation of this elusive species.
Twycross Zoo is open to the public from 10am to 6pm. For more information call 0844 474 1777, or visit www.twycrosszoo.org.