Hogle Zoo welcomes baby gorilla, snow leopard cubs

Pele the western lowland gorilla holds her new baby boy after giving birth on May 30.

Pele the western lowland gorilla holds her new baby boy after giving birth on May 30. (Utah's Hogle Zoo)


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SALT LAKE CITY — There's two new mothers in town at Utah's Hogle Zoo, where two new snow leopard cubs and a baby gorilla were welcomed into the world.

Babs the snow leopard became a first-time mother when she gave birth to two cubs Tuesday morning. The zoo said the mother and cubs are doing well, and zookeepers will be monitoring the cats around the clock through cameras.

The snow leopards will not be visible to the public for some time as they are being given privacy and time to adjust to their new life.

Snow leopards are a vulnerable species who are known for their elusive and solitary nature and are sometimes referred to as the "ghost of the mountains."

Pele the gorilla gave birth to a baby boy on May 30. This birth is an "important step" in the conservation of western lowland gorillas, who are critically endangered and face threats from illegal poaching, habitat loss and mining in the African countries in which they reside, the zoo said.

The 22-year-old mother and baby boy are healthy and can already be spotted by those at the zoo.

Both animals gave birth as part of species survival plans, where the Association of Zoos and Aquariums gives breeding recommendations to accredited zoo programs "to provide a healthy, genetically diverse, and self-sustaining population."

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Cassidy Wixom covers Utah County communities and is the evening breaking news reporter for KSL.com.

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