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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, January 26, 2018

Welcome to Chattanooga, Tashi!




- Photograph provided

The Chattanooga Zoo recently welcomed the arrival of the newest addition to the zoo family: Tashi the snow leopard.

Tashi is a one-year-old male snow leopard. He came to the Chattanooga Zoo as a breeding loan from the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. Tashi has been recommended for breeding with the Chattanooga Zoo’s resident female snow leopard, Callie.

Male snow leopards do not sexually mature until age four, so Chattanooga Zoo officials hope to breed Callie and Tashi in the future in hopes of fulfilling the Zoo’s mission to conserve animals and protect endangered species. Efforts at breeding snow leopards in captivity have been marginally successful at best due to their solitary lifestyles and low birth survival rate. In years past, the Chattanooga Zoo has had two successful snow leopard births.

“It’s exciting to add to our animal collection and strengthen our conservation efforts through our partnership with the SSP,” says Dardenelle Long, Zoo CEO and president. “We’re thrilled to receive another snow leopard breeding recommendation.”

Tashi is now on exhibit full time with Callie and open to public viewing during normal operating hours (9 a.m.-5 p.m.). To differentiate the snow leopards, Callie has a slimmer frame while Tashi has shorter legs, a larger body mass weighing around ten pounds more than Callie and a white tipped tail.

The addition of Tashi the snow leopard continues the effort by the Chattanooga Zoo to help save these cats in the wild.

Source: Chattanooga Zoo