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Snow leopard sponsors meet cubs

Sibylle (L) with Howie and friend Meg

Sibylle (L) with Howie and friend Meg

An excited group of 80 snow leopard sponsors met the new cubs at the Melbourne Zoo last Saturday. Adrian “Howie” Howard, one of the senior carnivore keepers introduced us to the cubs and their Mum, Meo. Over a couple of hours Howie entertained us with information about breeding and the births as well as stories of snow leopard behaviour in the wild. We learnt about the successful Melbourne Zoo breeding program with dad Leon and mum, Meo who now have a 3 month old boy and girl cub.


Excited snow leopard sponsors

Excited snow leopard sponsors

There were yelps of excitement and camera clicking as we watched the cubs eat their breakfast of chicken and then play with each other and mum. They ran up the tree branch, rolled through the grass and generally gave an Oscar winning performance for the sponsors who were delighted. One sponsor had driven for over two and a half hours to arrive at the zoo by 8.30 in the morning, true dedication. Another, Margaret, now in her late 70’s had recently broken her pelvis and was still walking with a stick but she wasn’t going to miss this for quids.


We also met 20 year old Shimbu, or Shimmy as Howie calls her, the snow leopard matriarch who was tucking into a huge piece of goat for her breakfast that morning. 

Cubs on tree branch. Pic by Martin Terlecki, Melbourne Zoo.

Cubs on tree branch. Pic by Martin Terlecki, Melbourne Zoo.


Paul Clarke, the energetic Development Manager from the Zoos Victoria Foundation who organised the event was stunned by the overwhelming response from the sponsors. “People emailed me back right away, saying they’ll be here. One woman who lives in New Caledonia said she tried to get a plane but there were no seats available. Amazing!”

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Natalie April 6, 2009, 1:21 pm


    Enjoying your blog. I thought you might be interested in the recent photos I took of the two new babies at Melb Zoo.


    Enjoy :)


  • Sibylle April 6, 2009, 11:59 pm

    Natalie, your photos of the cubs and Meo are lovely. I know from first hand experience how hard it can be to get good shots, so well done! I wish you good luck with your photography business.

  • Nadine April 23, 2009, 5:44 pm

    Hi, snowleopardblog.com – da best. Keep it going!
    Thank you

  • Sibylle May 7, 2009, 2:46 am

    Hi Natalie
    I’m very happy to keep it going, thanks for your support. Especially this week – 3 TV programs on snow leopards on Australian TV – how good can it get?

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