CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — The Metro Richmond Zoo announced Tuesday morning of their first ever litter of snow leopard cubs.
Two cubs, one male and one female, were born to Elsa and Nitro on May 24, after a three-month gestation. First-time mother, Elsa, is two years old. First-time father, Nitro, is three years old.
The zoo says Elsa’s maternal instincts have kicked in and is taking great care of her cubs, despite the fact she herself was raised by human caretakers.
The cubs are currently off exhibit in their private den with Elsa while they are developing their initial motor skills and strength. The zoo’s plan is to let the cubs out on exhibit once they are strong enough to follow mom outside.
Snow leopards are considered an endangered species, with only an estimated 3,000-6,000 snow leopards left in the world. They are native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia.