Executive Bello, Seneca Park Zoo launch naming contest for snow leopard

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and the Seneca Park Zoo launched a naming contest for the Zoo’s 8-week old snow leopard cub on Saturday. Bello also unveiled ‘Cub Cam’, a 24/7 online camera from the snow leopard cub’s den. ‘Cub Cam’ can be accessed by visiting the Seneca Park Zoo website.

“There are a lot of exciting things happening at the Seneca Park Zoo right now, but none more so than the recent birth of our first snow leopard cub,” Bello said. “Our little guy is doing great and showing a lot of improvement, but we need your help naming him. As we celebrate Monroe County’s Bicentennial, let’s find a name that is reflective of the rich history of our community.”

Bello said Monroe County residents are invited to submit name ideas to NameTheCub@monroecounty.gov using the subject line “Name our Snow Leopard Cub.” Visitors of the Seneca Park Zoo can also turn in name submissions at the upper level viewing area of the snow leopard exhibit. 

“Submissions for the first round of the contest will be accepted through June 26. From there, the five most popular submissions will be voted on by the public at the Seneca Park Zoo’s website or in person at the snow leopard exhibit,” Bello said.

This is snow leopard Timila’s second litter at Seneca Park Zoo with 10-year-old male, Kaba, as a result of a breeding recommendation from the Snow Leopard SSP. In partnership with the Snow Leopard Trust, Seneca Park Zoo supports snow leopard conservation efforts aimed at addressing climate change, poaching, and human-wildlife conflicts.

“Seneca Park Zoo is excited to be able to bring the development of the cub to all of our guests.  The Snow Leopards, here at Seneca Park Zoo, are ambassadors for their counterparts in Asia, and help us to tell our guests about the challenges and struggles these animals have in the wild,” Seneca Park Zoo Director Steve Lacy said. “Snow leopards are a critically endangered species, and we are proud to support Snow Leopard Trust, (snowleopard.org), a group that provides local ‘boots on the ground’ support for snow leopards in China, India, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Krygyzstan.  If you would like to get involved and help conserve this species, you can find out more at SenecaParkZoo.org.”

The snow leopard cub has been hand raised by Dr. DiVincenti and the Zoo staff since birth. Cubs neglected at such a young age are at high risk for illness. The cub has shown incredible progress thanks to the care of Dr. DiVincenti and his staff.

Bello said Zoo staff will work with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP) to identify the best opportunity for the cub.

“Our little snow leopard cub is doing great! Our team here appreciates the support we’ve received from the community since his birth and the tremendous efforts required to get him to this point. As we turn our attention from ensuring his survival to providing appropriate socialization and teaching him all the skills he’ll need to be a successful snow leopard, we are excited to share that journey with you,” Dr. Louis DiVincenti, Seneca Park Zoo Veterinarian said.

Image courtesy of Seneca Park Zoo’s Cub Cam

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