Tulsa Zoo Ready To Show Off New Snow Leopard, Niko - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Tulsa Zoo Ready To Show Off New Snow Leopard, Niko

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Niko weighs in at about 6 pounds. He is being hand raised by Zoo staff. Niko weighs in at about 6 pounds. He is being hand raised by Zoo staff.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Niko, an endangered snow leopard, is ready to meet his public. The Tulsa Zoo will be showing off the 7-week-old cub to the media on Wednesday.

The birth "is a success for not only the Tulsa Zoo, but also for snow leopard populations around the world," said Sarah Floyd of Tulsa Zoo Management. About 4,000 to 6,500 snow leopards are left in the wild, according to a news release.

Poaching and habitat loss have limited their numbers in Central Asia, northern India and China.

Niko was born to mother Sherab and father Rajan on May 10. His two litter mates both died, one during the birthing process and one due to a blood infection nine days later.

4/30/2013 Related Story: Tulsa Zoo's Lost Kingdom Will Feature Tigers, Leopards And Komodo Dragons

Niko's mother experienced birth complications, so Niko is being hand raised by Zoo staff, Floyd said.

"The decision to hand raise a wild animal is not taken lightly, and having the offspring raised by their own kind is always preferred, but Sherab needed to focus her energy on healing and recovery," said Dr. Kay Backues, Tulsa Zoo Senior Staff Veterinarian.

Niko is thriving and weighs more than 6 pounds, the release states. His mother has improved and is back on exhibit.

The Zoo's new Lost Kingdom complex will include a new snow leopard habitat that will allow guests to see the endangered animals close up.

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