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Snow Leopards

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Snow Leopards

Post  Cremecat on Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:25 pm

In December 2000 only six months old snow leopard cub Dshamilja was rescued from the illegal traders in Kyrgyzstan. She had been injured by poachers, which left her with a lifelong limp. She had been kept for two months in an extremely small cage, when she was confiscated and the traders were arrested. She was donated to the European Endangered Species programme and transported to Germany for treatment. In October 2001 Dshamilja was transferred to Zurich Zoo.

In May 2004 Dshamilja gave birth to her first cub, Erkhet. Erkhet was a handsome young male, when he was transferred to Helsinki Zoo in January 2006. cheers

Here is Erkhet:


There are two female leopards in our zoo, Tara and Valma. They both have lived in Helsinki all their lives. In 2012 Erkhet became a father for the second time, when Tara gave birth to three cute girls.
Here is Tara, so beautiful and so proud of her cubs:


I took these pictures in the end of September when the cubs were three months old. They were still very shy and preferred to stay in the opposite end of their enclosure. I love you


It took some time to put the pieces together for Dshamilja's and Erkhet's story. This was a shortened version, but I hope you like it! bounce

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  littlewid on Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:46 pm

I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you Oh My Goodness cremecat, Erkhet truely is so stunningly handsome, he is magnificent without a doubt and the size of those paws.....Huge!
Poor Dshamilja what a tragic start but she has a happy ending thankfully, is she still at the Zurich Zoo do you know?
Has Erkhet only mated with Tara or were his other cubs with Valma? Tara really is beautiful isn't she, she has a look of gentleness about her and the little cub is just so adorable.
It's a lovely family story that you have pieced together for us, thank you so much. I love Snow Leopards and I do sponsor them through WWF and I know Lai does too, they are such special big cats and need protecting.
I keep scrolling back to the photo's whilst I am typing this as I can't stop looking at them, they are wonderful photo's, thank you Very Happy

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  Cremecat on Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:05 pm

Hi Littlewid! Very Happy

Dshamilja is still in Zurich; she has had altogether five litters. There's always been only one cub in each litter, so you could say her focus is on the quality, not the quantity. Razz The latest cub is a male called Mohan (namesake of our Asiatic lion Wink ), he was born in 2012.

I think (I am almost sure) that he mother of the previous litter (2010) was Tara as well. It is very difficult to find any information, because the zoo doesn't give the names on their website. Sometimes I think they could be more open - why do they not understand that it would do good to their efforts in the conservation work? Having more enthusiastic fans cannot be that bad... Rolling Eyes

One of my Christmas gifts was a Snow Leopard mother and cub adoption, given by my daughter. - I was so happy I almost cried! I love you

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  whitestarling on Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:07 pm

Thank goodness Dshamilja was saved, and at least although she's in a Zoo, she is safe, and has contributed to the breeding programe fulfilling her destiny to be a mother, and adding to the genetic pool of Snow Leopards. I know it would have been better if she had been able to stay in the wild, but after what happened to her, and with her injury this is the next best thing.
Erkhet looks a stunning cat, and so does Tara she is beautiful. The Cubs are gorgeus do they have names yet ? do you know. Perhaps Valma will get her turn next. Thanls so much for the story CC it must have taken a lot of research to put it together, and we really appreciate the effort you've put in and sharing it with us as well as the great photos
Thanks CC
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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  Cremecat on Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:33 pm

Thank you, WS! Thanks

The cubs do not have names yet, but there is a name competition on and the winning names will be published by the end of this month. Fingers crossed that I win!

The temperature here is now -24 C degrees; Shocked I hope it will be warmer - or less cold - on Sunday, so that I could visit the zoo again. I would like to see the cubs; when we were there three weeks ago, they stayed inside and we saw only a glimpse of them.

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  whitestarling on Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:53 pm

affraid minus 24c What a Face , and here's us shivering at minus 3c, and a day of snow WIMPS Our friend is in Australia in Sidney and they had a record Temp today of 45.8c. I think we could both do with a bit of that if they've got some to spare
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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  Laikipia on Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:59 am

Thanks for piecing together the story Cremecat and for the beautiful photos. As Littlewid said we do sponsor them through WWF as they such endangered animals and so magnificent.

I hope the weather is better for you today and you can visit the zoo. As WS said, it is cold and snowy in the UK but not nearly as cold as for you! We just don't cope with cold weather in the UK. The trains and planes don't operate and the cars get stuck What a Face

Thanks again, lovely to know more about the Snow Leopards.

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  Cremecat on Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:01 am

Shocked Minus 27 C this morning! I think it would be fair if Finland could be moved a little southwards...

Here is Valma on Dec 28:


Valma walking up the hill in her enclosure; nice tail, isn't it:


I love you I love you I love you

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  Laikipia on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:12 am

- 27 affraid ouch that's cold CC - we are exactly 0 at home today, but a light snow is falling.

Valma is beautiful and she really does have an amazing tail, it's so thick and gorgeous looking.

Thanks for sharing some more photos.

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  whitestarling on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:56 am

Brrrr dont even want to think about -27c What a Face . Lovely photos of Valma and that tail is gorgeus you can tell with a tail like that she would have brilliant balance coming down rocks in the mountains.
Thanks for the pics CC
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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  gregrowlerson on Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:13 am

That is a lovely story CC, and you are clearly dedicated to your cats. Your research is amazing!

I also think that is it very sweet the adoption gift your daughter gave you.

It is very to me that you mention this 'minor' issue of the temperature being -27 degrees, because I've had all these whinging poms going on about temperatures that are about three less jumpers on then where you are.

But I think now that the Whinging Pom creature will become extinct; developing instead the philosophy of "Thank FURRs sake that we're not in Finland!"

cheers for the story and pics, sunny for necessity. Plus in Australia we can kinda spare some, as WS pointed out Very Happy
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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  Cremecat on Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:05 pm

GR, we have a lot of whinging poms - I mean Finns - also here! Rolling Eyes

Never mind if they will soon be next to extict; we can always start a conservation program to save the species!
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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  Laikipia on Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:23 pm

Watch it Onesie man we POMS stick together, be afraid be very afraid

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  whitestarling on Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:46 pm

Mad There may be trouble ahead Giraffe Boy. Might have to cut you down to size
WS Very Happy

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  Laikipia on Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:38 pm

You the man WS - Watch out PP, WS is on the case ................ Shocked

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  gregrowlerson on Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:43 pm

CC, with some species it's best to let nature take its course

I feel a little unsafe now in this midieval British atmosphere. No need to be a qualified swordsman to be off with this head!

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  Laikipia on Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:46 am

You the man Giraffe albino we were quite keen with the 'off with his head' theme back in the Tudor times What a Face

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  littlewid on Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:54 am

Hi Cremecat

I am hoping the weather is ok for you to visit the zoo today and see this lovely family of Snow Lepoards, they truely are such stunning cats and the last two photo's of Valma are lovely. Their tails are simply stunning aren't they in fact their whole coats are amazing, so thick, they look very cuddly but I am sure that is not a good idea!
How odd that the boy is also called Mohan, and good to know that Dshamilja is still at the zoo.
What a lovely christmas present from your daughter, I think if your an animal lover these are the best presents to receive.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that you get to the zoo today but your temperatures really are extreme compared to ours, we moan at -1 or -5 but -28 and -27 is ridiculous and if we could we would move Finland a little more South for you.

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Last edited by littlewid on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  whitestarling on Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:56 am

What a lovely gift from your daughter CC, that was brilliant Very Happy . I agree its a shame the Zoo does'nt give outmore info, especialy as it would properbly get more people interested, increase visitor numbers, and the awareness of the plight Snow Leopards are in to more people in the world. Even a site like WAA is contributing to that awareness with all the vistors we get. This Snow Leopard of yours has been visted 81 times in 3 days, and your Amur Tiger 161 times since you first posted it, so your certainly doing your bit for the Big Cats, pity the Zoo dos'nt follow your example
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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  Cremecat on Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:03 pm

Thank you Littlewid and WS! It is great to hear that so many have been interested in the Amurs and Snow Leopards!

So we made it to the zoo today! The weather was cold (- 7) but beautiful. And guess what! We saw the snow leopard cubs. You cannot imagine how cute they were...

I took about 600 photos ( Embarassed ), and the cubs are in 250 of them, so I have to select some kind of set to upload here.

Here is Valma waiting for lunch:


Erkhet at his lunch:


...and the adorable, beautiful mom Tara:


One more, a little different picture of Tara: "I see you!"


It is midnight here, so I have to upload the cubs' pictures another time - maybe tomorrow.

Goodnight everyone! Today was a happy day! sunny
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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  Laikipia on Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:46 am

Hi Cremecat - so pleased you made it to the zoo despite the cold weather Very Happy and thanks for posting those lovely photos, they are such stunning cats. 650 is certainly a lot in one day cheers cheers

Looking forward to more later when you have time Very Happy

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  whitestarling on Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:01 pm

Brilliant photos CC they really are lovely thanks for sharing them. I'm really looking forward to seeing the other 646 . It was really good of you to put them on seeing as it was midnight there. Its amazing how many people look in on the Forum from all over the World even though they dont post, and you can tell they appreciate your photos and stories from the number of visits you've had
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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  Doogs on Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:30 pm

WOW CC - lovely, clear photos of some beautiful Snow Leopards, love them I love you thanks so much for sharing Very Happy

-7 deg affraid !!!
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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  littlewid on Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:28 pm

Group Hug Beautiful photos Cremecat and I especially love the one of Tara peeking at you, it's such a lovely photo especially with the snow on the bush as well, it's almost like she is thinking " I can see you but you can't see me" Very Happy
It is wonderful to see Valma and Erkhet too and they are gorgeous but that one of Tara is my favourite.

I am so pleased you made it to the zoo and had a lovely day out and I am looking forward to seeing the cubs.
You said you had entered the competition to name them, are you going to let us know what your suggestions are or are we waiting to see if your names are chosen......a little surprise for us all.......I hope you are successful in the naming Very Happy

How are you getting on ith sorting your pics? that was an awful lot to take but I do understand why so many were taken as they are the most beautiful cats and thanks so much for staying up late the other night to post those pics, your a Like a Star @ heaven

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Re: Snow Leopards

Post  Cremecat on Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:53 pm

The Snow Leopard cubs at Helsinki Zoo are three precious girls, born on June 23 last year.

The cubs don't have names yet, but the zoo has told that one of them is brave by nature, one brisk and one shy. Laughing

By chance we came to see them just at the time when lunch was served. The mom came out first, checked what was on the menu and then went back inside to get the cubs to eat.

Tara waiting for the cubs to come out:



And here they are! The Shy, the Brave and the Brisk:



All three just sat there without moving, but then the Brave decided to come down. She played with the food, maybe ate some, played with mom, and then came back to her sisters. Then the Brave probably thought that without her help the sisters will starve, and so she climbed down and returned with a chunk of meat:



After everyone had had something to eat, there was a lot of running, chasing and jumping, and it all happened so fast that I had no chance with my cam.
When we were about to leave, Tara came down to us with one of the cubs to say goodbye: I love you



I just love Tara! She is such a good mother, making sure that the cubs get enough to eat and that nothing disturbs them. She stayed near the girls all the time, looking so proud of them. I love you I love you I love you

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