On Sunday, May 27, at approximately 3 p.m., the Oklahoma City Zoo’s female snow leopard, Milenka, birthed two cubs in her Cat Forest habitat. One cub, a male, was stillborn; the other, a female, survived for slightly more than a day before succumbing to anomalies affecting her spine, leaving her unable to move her back legs.
Milenka, 9, is in good health after the delivery. She came to the OKC Zoo in 2016 as part of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan breeding recommendation. The Zoo is also home to male snow leopard, Tom, 12.
Although the outcome was tragic, Zoo veterinary teams reported a silver lining to the event. After Milenka gave birth, she demonstrated some maternal behaviors toward the surviving cub before it was brought to the animal hospital for examination. Milenka was also able to deliver her cubs naturally after previously requiring a c-section procedure.
Guests can find Tom and Milenka at the Cat Forest habitat at the OKC Zoo.
Photo credit: Mandi Sorenson