Snow Leopard Cubs Make Their Debut at San Francisco Zoo

August 10, 2018
Snow Leopard Cubs (Photo credit: San Francisco Zoo)

Snow Leopard Cubs (Photo credit: San Francisco Zoo)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) -- A crowd of children and adults collectively gasped when a pair of snow leopard cubs made their debut at the San Francisco Zoo on Thursday. 

The cubs were born nine weeks ago on June 7 by their mother Dawa. Their father Jimmy G., is named after the 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. 

"They're so cute and fluffy," said one girl. "They're just the size of a normal cat."

Snow leopards were recently removed from the endangered species list. There are approximately 5,000 to 10,000 in the wild, mainly on the Chinese side of the Himalayan mountain range, according to zoo curator Ron Whitfield. 

Although their numbers have rebounded, Whitfield said they are still targeted by poachers. 

"Captivity could be the future for many of our animals that are threatened and endangered in the wild," he said to KCBS Radio.