Snow comes to snow leopards at Melbourne Zoo

Tashi in snow. Photo Penny Stephens. The Age/SMH

Tashi in snow. Photo Penny Stephens. The Age/SMH

Meo and her two cubs, Tashi (f) and Gobi (m) got ten tons of snow today to celebrate the cubs’ 6 month birthday. Meo, who originally comes from a Zoo in a town in Germany very close to where I was born (on a snow storm night – many years ago) knows a thing or two about snow flakes and ice.

But not Aussie-born Tashi and Gobi. They hesitated before walking  onto this funny white stuff. By the time they did venture onto it, mum Meo had found and eaten just about all the raw chicken that the keepers had put out today.

Howie with raw chicken and ice sculpture. Photo by Sibylle.

Howie with raw chicken and ice sculpture. Photo by Sibylle.

I asked Adrian “Howie” Howard, senior Carnivore Keeper about that and he said, “it happens, but she’s never let them go hungry or starve. In fact just recently she’s been pushing them to go and find the food for themselves rather than wait for her to find it and bring it back to them.” Howie had placed the chicken all through the snow as well as rubbed some onto the beautiful ice snow leopard sculpture that was also part of the celebration.

The whole thing was fun for the media and the zoo visitors and a wonderful enrichment experience for the cubs and Meo. Dad Leon next door missed out on the snow, but didn’t seem too fussed as he tucked into his breakfast and then had a snooze.

The ABC has an online interview with Howie about the snow experience today. And more pics from The Age / SMH.

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One Response to Snow comes to snow leopards at Melbourne Zoo

  1. Ailurophile says:

    How nice that the snow provided the beautiful leopards some entertainment and an opportunity to experience something new and exciting. I hope to visit Melbourne Zoo some day soon and view these beautiful cats!

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