Snow leopard gives birth to 'at least two' cubs at wildlife park

In the coming weeks staff from the park will confirm exactly how many cubs there are.

At least two snow leopard cubs born at Highland Wildlife Park in Aviemore RZSS

At least two new snow leopard cubs have been born in Scotland.

On Saturday, May 28, staff at Highland Wildlife Park in Aviemore heard high-pitched sounds in the cubbing den and two tiny cubs were spotted by keepers.

The cubs were born to mum Animesh and first time dad Koshi and while all appears well with the newborns, staff remain cautious at this early stage.

Keith Gilchrist, living collections manager at the park said: “We are thrilled to welcome at least two snow leopard cub to mum Animesh and first-time dad Koshi but the coming months are crucial.

“So far we know there is at least two, but there could be more as we are not able to see clearly inside the cubbing den.

“At just over one-pound, newborn cubs weigh around the same as a loaf of bread and are reliant on mum for the first few months, as they grow and become stronger and more independent.”

In the coming weeks, staff from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) will be able to confirm how many cubs there are.

The cubs will then be sexed and later named.

Mr Gilchrist added: “Like all the animals in our care, our snow leopards play an important role in attracting and engaging thousands of visitors each year so they can learn about the threats animals face in the wild and the action they can take to help.

“Their power to connect people with nature and encourage behaviour change is invaluable.”

Now protected throughout much of their native range, snow leopard populations are still threatened due to a decline in available prey and conflict with local farmers.

The snow leopard cubs will remain off-show to visitors for the coming weeks as they grow and develop but visitors can still spot dad Koshi in his hillside enclosure.