Video: Highland Wildlife Park welcomes new snow leopard Koshi

Highland Wildlife Park, near Aviemore, has welcomed a new addition, with the arrival of a new male snow leopard.

Staff at the wildlife conservation charity say they hope the park’s current female Animesh and the new arrival Koshi will have cubs in the future.

Keith Gilchrist, animal collection manager at Highland Wildlife Park said: “We are very excited to welcome Koshi into our care and for visitors to meet him too.”

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“For the first few weeks, he’ll be kept separated from Animesh as he settles in and then we will slowly begin introductions.”

Koshi has arrived at the wildlife park.

Koshi was born at The Big Cat Sanctuary in Ashford in 2019.

Briony Smith, head keeper at The Big Cat Sanctuary said: “Koshi holds a special place in our hearts as he, alongside his brother Khumbu were the first ever snow leopards born at The Big Cat Sanctuary.

“It’s been a real privilege to watch him grow into a gentle, friendly and loving cat and as much as we will miss him, we know he is in safe hands. We will be proud to see him play an active part in the International Breeding Programme to help protect his species.”

Keith added, “Although we will miss Animesh’s cubs, Leannain and Stardust, as they move to their new home at Northumberland Zoo today, these moves are vital to the breeding programme.

“With under 3,500 snow leopards remaining in the wild, it is important that cats like Koshi are given the opportunity to father cubs, ensuring genetic diversity and ultimately safeguarding the future of the species.”