I had coffee with a couple of the Zoo staff again yesterday and looked in on the snow leopards as usual. I wasn’t expecting much action from them in the middle of the day and sure enough they were all very quiet. Shimbu, the grand old dame, was fast asleep amongst the rocks. It was amazing – as I walked close to her exhibit area I was positive I spotted her, but when I got close, of course it was a rock. It still surprises me, even after years, how well their beautiful fur provides for camouflage.
The cubs Tashi and Gobi are growing. Howie, the senior Carnivore Keeper told me that now, at 6 months of age (this week), Tashi (f) weighs 13.1 kg and Gobi (m) 12.7 kg. I asked if it was usual for the female to weigh more at the same age and he said “she’s just a bit faster into the food!” Mum Meo was also resting as was dad Leon next door. Leon was lying on top of his wooden platform with his enormous tail hanging down in all its glory. A gaggle of school kids were mesmerised by the size and thickness of the tail and stood for a long time, watching as it twitched in his sleep.