Twycross Zoo in the Midlands welcomed snow leopard twins four months ago and the two female cubs made their first public appearance during July.
Members of the zoo were asked to choose names for the twins which zoo keepers proposed, taking origins from the leopard’s natural home range across the vast high mountains of Central Asia. After a vote, the favourites were revealed as:
Eva – meaning “life”
Ceba – meaning “dear to hold”
Snow leopards are classified as endangered and it is estimated that there are only 4,000 to 6,500 animals left in the wild. Many are killed by local farmers because they prey on livestock but they are also hunted for their beautiful fur, which acts as camouflage in their natural habitat.
As with their older siblings, a boy and a girl born in 2011 and two boys born in 2013, keepers at Twycross Zoo hope the twins become the next generation of breeding females. They will go on to play an important part in the international breeding programme that helps zoos maintain a genetically healthy managed population, and acts as a safety net for the species in the wild.
Twin cubs Eva and Ceba can now be seen exploring their habitat within the Himalaya Centre at Twycross Zoo, which is open to the public every day between 10am and 6pm.
For more information on visiting go to www.twycrosszoo.org.