SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Misha, the 4-year-old snow leopard at the Sacramento Zoo, is pregnant. She’s expected to give birth in early May.
Misha came to the Sacramento Zoo in 2014 from the Denver Zoo as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan. She and Blizzard, a 6-year-old snow leopard, had a courtship that lasted several years. Once they became comfortable with one another, the animals were “physically introduced for a brief time.” Misha started showing the typical pregnancy signs and had an ultrasound on April 5th confirming her pregnancy. Gestation for a snow leopard is around 100 days.
This is Misha’s first pregnancy and the Sacramento Zoo’s first snow leopard pregnancy since 2006. Snow leopards typically give birth to one to four cubs but the cubs are susceptible to high mortality rates, according to the Zoo. The rates are higher for first time mothers.
Snow leopards are vulnerable due to poaching, loss of prey and fragmentation of habitat.