Here’s an interview I did recently with Adrian “Howie” Howard, Senior Carnivore Keeper at Melbourne Zoo. He’s talking about the two old snow leopards.
“Simbu and Gregor, our two snow leopards that were together for 15 years. They obviously formed a bond over the years, and looked for one another and spent time together. After he died last year Shimbu would call for him in the mornings, she did that for a few months so it was obvious she missed him.
She still calls occasionally but she’s a relaxed cat these days. She likes her food and has now accepted that she doesn’t have to compete with him any more for her tucker. She’s retired now and she can do what she likes. If it’s a little bit warm she’s straight back inside in the back and that’s OK with us.
She’s a relaxed cat, a terrific cat. She’s a great character, as was Gregor. Gregor was one of those cats that you remember for your whole career. I’ve been here for 15 years so I’ve worked with Gregor and Shimmy for my whole career. Losing an animal like him is very difficult, he was a special cat and I’ve been privileged to look after him.
Shimmy’s doing well for an old girl. We gave Shimbu a full medical a few months ago, we gave her an anesthetic, she’s a bit hard of hearing and her eye sight isn’t what it used to be and she’s also a bit stiff, but hey, she’s 20 years old, that’s seriously old – over 100 years old for a human.”