On Tuesday, a male lion and female snow leopard joined the big cat family at the Memphis zoo.
Nearly 2-year old, 300 lb Thabo (pronounces TA-bo) and his brother were hand raised by zoo staff at the Tulsa Zoo & Living Museum in Oklahoma. Angela Evans, Tulsa Zoo spokeswoman said, “In some ways, that made them more frisky and very interested in what humans are doing.” Thabo is expected to reach up to 400 lbs.
Ateri is nearly one-year old and weighs just 50 lbs. Adult snow leopards can weigh as much as 100 lbs, but little Ateri is expected to max out at 85 lbs. She was also raised at the Tulsa Zoo, but with one difference: she and her brother were raised by their mother. Evans said, “Watching her teach them to be snow leopards, that was something we didn’t get to see with the lion cubs.” In about a year, Ateri will mate with the Memphis zoo’s male snow leopard, Darham.