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Lake Superior Zoo Welcomes New Snow Leopard

Posted at: 03/26/2013 11:03 PM
By: Dayna Landgrebe

Duluth's Lake Superior Zoo has a brand new member: Kiran the snow leopard.

The zoo unveiled Kiran's exhibit on Tuesday. He comes from the ABQ BioPark Zoo in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Lake Superior Zoo's previous snow leopard, Harry, was transferred to a Massachusetts zoo for a breeding partnership.

Lake Superior Lead Keeper Maicie Sykes said Tuesday that zoo-goers can can expect some small changes with Kiran.

"We can expect him to be a little quieter, probably hiding out in the shadows a little bit more. But he's definitely comfortable in his exhibit. He's eating really well and he's doing things that snow leopards should do. So he's definitely adjusting to the weather and the zoo and his exhibit really great," Sykes said.

Snow leopards went on a Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan in 1984 after their numbers dwindled as a result of the fur trade. Today, that plan has helped stabalize the population with about 650 captive snow leopards nationwide.