Highland Wildlife Park has announced the most recent additions to their ever-growing family of endangered species.
Staff at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed two snow leopard cubs at the park near Aviemore last week.
The tiny cubs were discovered after zookeepers heard high-pitched sounds in the cubbing den of mum Animesh and first-time dad Koshi.
The wildlife conservation charity has confirmed there are at least two cubs so far, but living collections manager at the park Keith Gilchrist believes there could be more hidden inside the den.
‘No better way to celebrate Highland Wildlife Park’s anniversary’
He said: “We are thrilled to welcome at least two snow leopard cubs to mum Animesh and first-time dad Koshi but the coming months are crucial.
“At just over one-pound, newborn cubs weigh around the same as a loaf of bread and are reliant on mum for the first few months, as they grow and become stronger and more independent.
“During first health checks in the coming weeks, we will be able to confirm how many cubs Animesh has had, and they will be sexed and later named.
“Now with the addition of snow leopard cubs, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the park’s 50th year.”
Although they are protected throughout much of their native range, snow leopards are still threatened due to a decline in available prey and conflict with local farmers.
Mr Gilchrist added: “Like all the animals in our care, our snow leopards play an important role in attracting and engaging thousands of visitors each year so they can learn about the threats animals face in the wild and the action they can take to help.
“Their power to connect people with nature and encourage behaviour change is invaluable.”