MILWAUKEE -- FOX6 and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation are teaming up to bring you Gifts to the Community – unique experiences that highlight the remarkable resources the community has to offer – as we celebrate the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s 100 years of service to the Milwaukee area.
For July’s Gift to the Community, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation is helping the Milwaukee County Zoo add two snow leopards to its animal collection. The Zoo’s 1-year-old snow leopard cub, Sossy, died unexpectedly on June 5, leaving only Sossy’s mother, adult female Tomiris. The Zoo plans to acquire a male and a female snow leopard with the Foundation’s gift.
The new snow leopards will be imported from Europe, which will add new genetics to the American population, benefitting the survival of the species. There is no certain timeline for the animals’ arrival due to variables related to securing permits, transportation and health requirements, but Zoo officials estimate the processes may take six to 12 months. FOX6 will let everyone know as soon as the new snow leopard additions arrive in Milwaukee.
Snow leopards are endangered in the wild. These large felines are highly specialized for cold mountainous habitats. They have long tails for balance and warmth, wide foot pads designed to help with grip in the snow and extra-long thick coats. Snow leopards also have some distinct head features (small ears, short muzzle, and domed forehead with large nasal cavities) to minimize heat loss and allow them to thrive in cold, thin mountain air.
The snow leopard exhibit is located in the Zoo’s Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country area.