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Endangered snow leopards born at Bloomington zoo

May 30, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — With fewer than 7,000 snow leopards living in the wild, the birth of two cubs at Miller Park Zoo is a big deal.

Officials say the zoo’s snow leopards Rilu and Hima became parents May 6.

The Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan recommended Rilu and Hima for mating. The plan is coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which accredits Miller Park Zoo.

Zoo staff members monitoring mother Hima by camera noticed she was inattentive to the babies. Officials took them for hand-raising the day after their birth.

The cubs are the first for the zoo since 1997. They will be named this fall and remain at Miller Park until fall 2016 before being transferred to another zoological site.

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Online: Miller Park Zoo: http://bit.ly/1HZI4fi

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