The Toronto Zoo says one of three snow leopard cubs born at the facility in May has died of pneumonia.
The zoo said Tuesday in a release that the cub was found dead in the snow leopard den on June 15.
It says a veterinary team determined the cubs had been exposed to a bacterium (Bordetella bronchiseptica) which produces persistent coughing similar to whooping cough, that was carried by their father.
The zoo says the other cubs, a male and a female, were beginning to show signs of infection but have been treated and are “recovering nicely.”
The Toronto Zoo is participating in a snow leopard conservation breeding program through the Species Survival Plan program.
The snow leopard is classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The zoo says the other cubs have started eating solid foods and their mother is beginning to wean them.
The mother and cubs will remain off exhibit for the next several weeks as they continue to bond and “get through the most delicate stages of their early development.”
On the morning of Thursday, June 15, 2017, Toronto Zoo staff observed one of the snow leopard cubs in an area of the…Posted by The Toronto Zoo on Tuesday, July 25, 2017
The Canadian Press