Our much-loved pair of Snow Leopards are preparing for their move to Billabong Wildlife Park in Port Macquarie today.
‘Khumbu’ and ‘Samara’ have had their breakfasts served to them in their transport boxes for weeks to get them comfortable for moving day. Keepers say they’re very relaxed and have been happily eating their breakfasts in the boxes every morning.
Taronga has had Snow Leopards since 1990. Taronga Senior Carnivore Keeper, Justine Powell, said: “It’s sad to see them leaving Taronga after 24 years, they are such a unique cat, they’ll certainly be missed.”
While Khumbu and Samara are making their home at Billabong, Taronga will continue to support Snow Leopards in the wild through a Taronga Field Conservation Grant designed to limit conflict between humans and Snow Leopards, by involving local youth in conservation action as ‘Snow Leopard Scouts”, as well as establishing networks of community-based savings and credit committees to benefit both the local people and Snow Leopards.
Snow Leopards are endangered in all 12 countries they’re found in due to poaching for their pelts, for use in traditional medicine and are killed by local farmers as the Leopards sometimes prey on livestock because the natural prey, such as the Himalayan Tahr, are being hunted by humans. Livestock losses from Snow Leopard depredation in Mustang in 2010-2011 were as high as 6.6% of the livestock holdings.