Snow leopards take Manhattan

June 22, 2009
Central Park Zoo snow loepard exhibit. Photo by WCS / Julie Larsen Maher

Hot and cold rocks. Central Park Zoo snow leopard exhibit. Photo by WCS / Julie Larsen Maher

Last week three elusive snow leopards were seen for the first time in Central Park, New York. Central Park Zoo that is, with its brand new Allison Maher Stern Snow Leopard Exhibit. The three cats were named by school children, and are two females, Zoe and Chocolate, and one male, Bo.

The exhibit must be one of the most state of the art in the world and cost over $10m. Its got heated rocks to take the winter chill off and shallow caves and trees that are strategically placed for keeping cool in summer. The area has been specifically designed for the snow leopards and includes many behavioral enrichments like interesting scents (of rabbits!) developed by the World Conservation Society. The design focuses on improving cat health and well being through stimulating  exercises and activities for mind and body.

Visitors can get up close and personal through two close up glass areas and there is a lot of interactive graphic material for learning more about snow leopards and WCS’ work in the zoo and in the field to save these endangered cats.

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