August 25, 2009
Gregor at Woodland Park Zoo. Photo by Rana Bayrakci.
Recently I was in touch with Rana Bayakci, the Program Coordinator for the Snow Leopard Network (SLN) in Seattle, USA. And what a coincidence!
Turns out Rana was a Keeper at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle in the early 1990’s when she met Gregor, our beautiful male snow leopard who was at Melbourne Zoo for many years until his sad death last year aged 20 years.
Gregor - yawning at Woodland Park Zoo. Photo by Rana Bayrakci.
Gregor was one of the very first snow leopards Rana worked with when she started as a Keeper at Woodland Park. Rana, like many of us, fell in love with Gregor, his sister Katrina (who didn’t live very long), and his parents, Alex and Andrei. This was the family of snow leopards, Rana says, that put her on the path of snow leopard conservation work.
In 1996, Rana actually visited Gregor at Melbourne Zoo and to her delight he remembered her. She says “it was wonderful to see him, he remembered me, the keepers just loved him, and he had a great perch right outside their break/office room window.”
Rana very kindly sent me some photos of Gregor from that time – he was as beautiful and full of personality then as we remember him.
August 18, 2009
Gobi and Batu at Woodland Park Zoo. Photo by Ryan Hawk WPG.
Our Gobi gets a namesake in the USA! The 11 week old male snow leopard was born at Woodland Park Zoo Seattle in May and over the weekend 35,000 entered a competition to name him and Gobi it is. His sister is Batu, which means firm and strong. Our Australian Gobi’s sister, Tashi, (Tibetan for lucky) is also firm and strong as I saw the other week when in front of a crowd of school kids she stole Gobi’s meat from him.
July 13, 2009
This is exciting – we can see an indepth examination of the snow leopard cubs (now 6 weeks old) at Woodland Zoo, Seattle USA. There’s a lot to do, weighing, measuring, checking, vaccinations etc. This is the most comprehensive video of a zoo examination I’ve ever seen. And the little guys are so calm and placid, just quietly staring at everyone with huge sad eyes 🙂 But they do get raw chicken for reward, their first ever hard food while mum Helen looks on. Congratulations to staff at the Zoo for doing such an indepth exam and videoing it.(Produced by Ryan Hawk.)