Zoo News

Jan 26, 2015

Zoo Mourns Loss of Male Snow Leopard, Dwaine

The Buffalo Zoo is saddened by the loss of its male snow leopard, Dwaine.

A blood analysis during a routine annual checkup revealed that Dwaine was in the late stages of severe kidney disease. His condition declined rapidly, and the ten year old snow leopard was humanely euthanized on Friday.

“It’s always hard when we lose an animal,” said Donna Fernandes, President and CEO of the Buffalo Zoo. “Dwaine was loved by visitors and staff alike, and he will be missed. His death is especially hard-hitting, because we just received a new female, Grace, and we had high hopes for them as a breeding match.”

Dwaine was born at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD on June 22, 2004. He came to the Buffalo Zoo in 2006 and had sired two cubs in his lifetime. The Zoo has had success with the snow leopard Species Survival Plan (SSP), and expects to receive a new male snow leopard in the future, so that it can continue to contribute to the conservation of the species.

Snow leopards are listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Their numbers have decreased drastically in the wild, mostly as a result of habit loss and poaching.

The Buffalo Zoo contributes annually to the Snow Leopard Trust, an organization working to protect the snow leopards’ natural habitat in Central Asia. For more information, visit snowleopard.org.

The mission of an AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species populations within AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, and Sustainability Partners.

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