Cape May County Zoo snow leopard cub dies

- The Cape May County Zoo sadly announced the death of one of their female snow leopard cubs that was introduced to the public back in July.

A veterinarian from the zoo reported the cub, Zara, became acutely ill on Friday, September 29, and despite medical intervention, her health deteriorated through the weekend.

Zara was taken to another veterinary hospital on Monday for a neurological checkup, and an MRI was performed.

Despite their efforts, Zara passed away.

“Zara’s clinical signs, and MRI suggested she had a severe infectious encephalitis.  Results are still pending that will identify the exact infectious agent. She was only four months old and still had an immature immune system which is why the infection acted so quickly and aggressively in her case,” Associate Veterinarian Dr. Alexander Ernst from the Cape May County Zoo said.

Ernst explained that he and his staff are closely monitoring Zara’s sister Ahana and mother Tysa for any signs of illness.

Zara and her sister Ahana were born to their mother Tysa on May 19 at the Cape May County Zoo as part of a national program to help save endangered species.  

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