SPOTTED! Keeper Cam captures rare leopard’s unbelievable reaction to snow

10 October 2019

A Snow leopard’s stunning reaction to a fresh delivery of snow has been captured on keeper cam at Melbourne Zoo.

The striking footage of three-year-old Snow leopard, Miska, shows her springing into the air on all fours, summersaulting and grappling playfully with the icy-cold snow.

The incredible moment occurred shortly after a special truckload was specially delivered to Melbourne Zoo from Mt Buller last month.

Melbourne Zoo Carnivores and Ungulates Coordinator Luke Hausler said the delivery of snow provided an enriching experience for Miska.

“Miska’s reaction to the snow is a natural, playful behaviour, which is exactly the type of response we like to see,” Mr Hausler said.

“Providing snow for Miska is one of the various strategies used by keepers as part of Melbourne Zoo’s Snow Leopard enrichment program.

“This program plays an important role in our day-to-day animal care as we look to provide new experiences to trigger sensory and physical stimulation.”

Melbourne Zoo's is home to two Snow leopards, Miska and Kang Ju, who are part of an international breeding program to help preserve the species in the fight against extinction.

The Zoo’s Snow leopards received deliveries of snow from Mt Buller on three separate occasions in as many weeks, as 2019’s snow season comes to a close.

Snow Leopards are among the world's most elusive and solitary animals and live in harsh mountain environments in countries including India, Nepal, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  They classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), with an estimated 2,700-3,400 remaining in the wild.

Threats faced by Snow Leopards in the wild include poaching and mining developments.

Melbourne Zoo's is home to two Snow leopards, Miska and Kang Ju, who are part of an international breeding program to help preserve the species in the fight against extinction.

Buller Ski Lifts said they were delighted to provide an enriching experience for Melbourne Zoo animals and share fresh snow from the mountain.

The special snow delivery is made possible thanks to support from the Grollo Ruzzene Foundation.