Michu the snow leopard came to the zoo in 2000 from the Milwaukee County Zoo where he was born in 1997. Being the runt of the litter the keepers named him after Mihaly Meszaros a Hungarian dwarf who worked for the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. He is also known for his work in films and television. His most famous role was as the alien ALF in the 1980’s NBC sitcom.
- Snow leopards are capable of killing prey up to 3 times their size and weight.
- The snow leopard’s coat is the thickest of any cat, and makes it look larger than it actually is.
- The long, thick tail enhances the snow leopard’s balance. When resting, the snow leopard wraps its tail around its body to keep warm
The Snow Leopard is internationally recognized as an endangered species. There are only a few thousand in the wild. Hunting for the fur trade is banned but poaching still takes place for their coats as well as for their bones which are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
The main threats to Snow Leopards are poaching for their fur and bones and a decline in their natural prey by overhunting by local people.