Darjeeling Zoo to receive snow leopard from London’s Dudley Zoological Gardens

Jun 24, 2016 12:14 IST

Snow LeopardThe Padma Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling will soon receive a snow leopard from Dudley Zoological Gardens in London.

The leopard, named Makalu, is expected to make arrival at the Kolkata airport in an Emeritus Flight on the morning of 24 June 2016. Makalu will then be transported to the zoo.

Makalu, who gets his name from the world’s fifth highest peak on the south-east side of the Everest, was born at the Black Country zoo.

About snow leopards

The snow leopard is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia.

It is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

It is believed that there are between 4000 and 6500 snow leopards left in the world.

Snow leopards inhabit alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3000 to 4500 m.

Taxonomically, the snow leopard was classified as Uncia uncia since the early 1930s.

Based on genotyping studies, the cat has been considered a member of the genus Panthera since 2008.

The snow leopard is the National Heritage Animal of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

About Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park

Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is a 67.56-acre zoo in the town of Darjeeling, West Bengal.

The zoo was opened in 1958.

At an average elevation of 7000 feet, it is the largest high altitude zoo in India.

It specializes in breeding animals adapted to alpine conditions, and has successful captive breeding programs for the snow leopard, the critically endangered Himalayan wolf and the red panda.

The park is named after Padmaja Naidu, daughter of Sarojini Naidu.

The zoo is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

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