BABY SNOW LEOPARDS!
At last it looks as if all our hopes, and crossing our fingers, has finally paid off. Tara, our female snow leopard produced two babies on the 24th of May and is now a fiercely maternal mother. During that first week, she was never seen away from the babies. Whenever a member of staff peeped into her den to check that all was well, Tara was there, keeping her eyes intently fixed on the intruder, standing guard over them. It would have taken a brave – though foolhardy soul to have interfered with her precious babies. She has now relaxed sufficiently to say hello to familiar keepers at feeding times – then after her meal she hurries back to check that all is well with the youngsters.
We kept the news quiet for the first two weeks because many things can go wrong with young snow leopards – especially with inexperienced mothers, and we wanted no extra noise or changes in routine. As yet we don’t know what sex the youngsters are and it will be a few weeks before they are old enough to venture out of the den into the big wide world, but it is all looking very good so far.
As for Pavan, the male snow leopard and the babies father, he has not yet met his young, but he can see and hear them, and Tara, from his own den and will be introduced to them soon.
I think I can speak for all the staff, trustees, volunteers, as well as the friends and regular visitors to the Lakeland Wildlife Oasis when I say – well done Tara!