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Snow leopard cub euthanised due to ‘painful’ eye condition

The four-month-old cub was born at Highland Wildlife Park in the Cairngorms.

Wild: The male cub had a 'painful' eye condition. RZSS
Wild: The male cub had a 'painful' eye condition.

A snow leopard cub born at Highland Wildlife Park in the Cairngorms has had to be put to sleep.

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) said the four-month-old male cub had contracted coloboma, a “very painful” condition that causes vision problems.

Although surgery can help alleviate the pain in some cases, the conservation park took the “incredibly difficult decision” to euthanise the cub as it was suffering due to the seriousness of its condition.

We are very sad to say that our male snow leopard cub has had to be put to sleep today due to a serious eye…

Posted by Highland Wildlife Park, Kincraig on Friday, 13 December 2019

The litter’s two female cubs also have the eye defect, but not to the same degree. Park staff will continue to monitor their health.

On Friday, a RZSS spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with everyone who works with the cubs.”

Snow leopards are classed as vulnerable, with threats including declining prey populations, protection of livestock and an increasing demand for their bones in traditional Asian medicine.

The species has an estimated wild population of 2700.

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