SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Sacramento Zoo is celebrating a new addition, Coconut the Snow Leopard.
16-week-old Coconut was born May 6 to parents Blizzard and Misha. He was a twin, but the other cub did not survive.
Erin Dougher is the primary carnivore keeper at the Sacramento Zoo. She said snow leopards are in danger and only a few thousand are left in the wild.
The zoo works to help endangered species.
“We work hard with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums toward a lot of different conservation goals with a lot of different species, including snow leopards,” Dougher said.
After Coconut was born the zoo left him alone with his mom to give them time to bond. The pair was monitored with a camera by zoo officials. But they noticed something wrong with Coconut.
Coconut has swimmers syndrome in his rear legs, meaning his legs are “noticeably splayed,” according to the zoo’s blog. He also has eyelid birth defects and may need surgery in the future.
“We were trying to figure out if he was going to use those back legs and we determined we needed to intervene and help him build those muscles,” Dougher said.
According to Dougher, Coconut is now in physical therapy and doing much better.
“He is so curious about everything,” Dougher said. “Everything is new and exciting. He’s super playful with mom.”
Zoo-goers can see the cub at the snow leopard exhibit, but Coconut’s exhibit times vary, and the zoo says they never want to force Coconut to make an appearance if he doesn’t want to.