Next to the Amur leopards' enclosure, sort of further in, was that of the snow leopards (Uncia uncia). This was maybe extra interesting to us since it was because of these animals that we ended up going to the Ark in the first place. Both KAS and I, separately, read this article in Dagbladet online back in June. We read up on the park and thought it sounded fascinating, so I ended up organizing the trip. So the snow leopards were extra interesting. Although we really didn't expect to see that much of them since they are notoriously leery of humans and now, with the cubs, I for one would expect them to be even more so.
The Ark has four snow leopards - a breeding pair, Sahili and Irbis, and their two cubs that were born on May 26th this year. And the Ark apparently also has the snow leopard coordinator! His name is Leif Lundquist, and it will be up to him whether the cubs stay in the park or, when they're grown, 'leave home' for other zoos somewhere in the world. I'd assume the latter. However, this won't be for a good long while, because snow leopard females normally keep their young with them for at least a year and a half, sometimes up to 22 months, so presumably Sahili will be allowed to have her cubs with her for as long as she would in nature, at least.
The enclosure - a fenced off section of wild forest, like the other enclosures - seemed to be empty. But it wasn't. Can you spot them? ;-)
(We saw - as far as we could figure out - one adult and one cub. The adult we assumed was Sahili. The others may well have been there too, and visible, for all we know though. You really had to know where to look.)
(Photo credit: 1: me; 2: KAS; 3-5: C.)
3 days ago