New Female Snow Leopard Arrives In Cape May County

David Todd McCarty

Cape May County Zoo Announces the Arrival of New Female Snow Leopard

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CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, NJ -- The Cape May County Zoo announced the addition of a new, 8-year-old female Snow Leopard named Maliha to replace Himani, the matriarch of a decade-long breeding program at the zoo, who died recently due to complications from cancer.

"The female snow leopard named, Maliha came to us from the Roger Williams Zoo in Providence Rhode Island,” said Dr. Alexander Ernst, Associate Veterinarian. “She will be paired up with our male Snow Leopard Bataar to continue the Cape May County Zoo’s long-standing tradition of success in breeding Snow Leopards."

Maliha was sent to the Cape May County Zoo by the Species Survival Plan (SSP) as a strong genetic match for the Zoo's male snow leopard.

"We are excited to continue the work that Himani, our original female Snow Leopard started over 10 years ago. Every successful birth is a small step towards the preservation of the species in the wild,” said Ernst.

The mission of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is to oversee the population management of select species with AZA-accredited member institutions to enhance the conservation of species in the wild.

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Maliha, an 8-year-old female Snow Leopard

The success of the AZA Snow Leopard Species Survival Program is due to the cooperation of more than 70 participating zoos. The Cape May County Zoo is accredited by the AZA and participates in other SSP programs in addition to the Snow Leopard conservation.

It is estimated there are approximately 3,500 to 7,000 Snow Leopard left and they are considered endangered and facing extinction. They live for 15–18 years in the wild and can live for up to 25 years in zoos.

Maliha can be viewed every day at the Walter Trettin Snow Leopard Habitat.

The Cape May County Park and Zoo are open daily. The Zoo is open from 10 am until 3:30 pm. The Park is open from 7 am until dusk. The Zoo is free to the public. Donations are greatly appreciated and help with the care of the animals.

For the safety of others, social distancing and masks are required for those over age 2. Visitors are asked to follow directional signage to maintain social distance while in the Zoo.

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Cape May Court House, NJ
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