At the zoo where he lived, a rare snow leopard who had fathered two litters of cubs has passed away. While only two years old, Indeever made the journey from Zurich to the Marwell Zoo in Hampshire. Arthritis and kidney failure ultimately led to his euthanasia.
Indeever was described as “joyous” by the zoo. Kadhir and Kamala, born in 2011, and Ajendra and Animesh, born in 2013, were two of his cubs. Less than 10,000 adult snow leopards are predicted to remain in the wild due to declining numbers.
Snow leopards are classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), thus Marwell and his longtime girlfriend Irina’s successful breeding efforts are especially crucial.
As part of the European endangered species breeding programme, Indeever and Irina were brought to the park 12 years ago (EEP). Two litters of three cubs were born to them, however sadly one of the cubs from the first litter passed away later that year, in 2011.
Animal team head Carrie Arnold expressed her “deep sadness” upon Indeever’s departure. “Hide-and-seek was Indy’s favourite game. It was a daily occurrence for him to try and outrun or outsmart us by running around or hiding behind boulders.
Every time we caught sight of him, he’d quickly change course and run in the opposite direction. Radiographs taken in the summer revealed that he was suffering from arthritis in both his pelvis and one knee.
Before Indeever’s condition worsened again earlier this week, he had been taking pain medication. Snow leopards spend most of their time alone in the highlands of central Asia and the Himalayas, where they thrive at high altitudes and rough terrain.
As their habitat is destroyed, livestock grazes there, and their prey is pursued by humans, the animals are being forced to relocate.
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