ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials with the Albuquerque zoo say two female snow leopards that were being moved to make room for new leopards in the U.S. have arrived safely at the Leon Zoo in Mexico.
The leopards, Bella and Carmella, are the first of their kind to be exhibited at the Leon Zoo.
Bella and Carmella were born last June. They were the sixth and seventh cubs born to the breeding pair at the Albuquerque zoo.
With an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 adults in the wild, snow leopards are considered endangered. A species survival program works to maintain genetic diversity and age range of snow leopards at zoos.
Albuquerque’s breeding program is one of the most successful.
Zoo officials say it hasn’t been decided whether the sisters will eventually become part of the species survival breeding program.