Silver Spotted Cubs in Basel


Snow Leopard Cub in Basel, Switzerland (Photo: Basel Zoo)

Three little snow leopard cubs have been showing off Wednesday in the Swiss city of Basel. It's the first time the triplets have been shown to the public since being born at a zoo in the city several weeks ago.
There's some lovely video footage on the zoo's website of the little cubs trying to climb on their mother's head.
The triplets' mother, Mayhan, and father, Pator, were matched in January after being taken from different zoos in Germany and France, part of a program to preserve endangered species run by a group called the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.
Snow leopards certainly tick the 'endangered species' box: it's estimated that only 4,000 to 6,000 of them still live in the wild, mainly in the mountains of central Asia and the Himalayas.
European zoos are getting quite good at promoting their offspring. Think of that little polar bear, Knut, who became such a worldwide celebrity after being hand-raised by humans at Berlin zoo.