Chameli, a nine-month-old snow leopard, made her Turtle Back Zoo debut on Valentine’s Day. The energetic animal explored her enclosure and showed her climbing skills off to the crowd awaiting her arrival Thursday morning.
The snow leopard was transferred from the Cape May Zoo on a breeding loan as part of a recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums species survival plan two months ago. This is the first time in the zoo’s history to have a pair of snow leopards on site.
For now, Chameli and Gala, the zoo’s resident snow leopard, will rotate hours in the zoo’s Amazing Asia exhibit, but there is a bright future ahead for these majestic animals.
Once Chameli is large enough, the snow leopards will be on exhibit together, another first for the zoo. They will be paired up in the hopes of bringing new life to Turtle Back Zooin the form of snow leopard cubs.