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      Syracuse zoo welcomes two snow leopard cubs, hosting naming contest

      The Rosamond Gifford Zoo announced the birth of two male snow leopard cubs that were born in mid-June.

      "It has been 14 years since the last snow leopard cubs were born at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo," said Ted Fox, Rosamond Gifford Zoo director. "We are especially thrilled, as only four other zoos have successfully bred snow leopards this year."

      The cubs were born to parents Zena and Senge and the zoo says they have not been named yet.

      The zoo is hosting a naming contest and is inviting the public to join in. Name suggestions must be received by 4:00p.m. on August 22. Names that originate from langauges of the snow leopards' native countries will be given preference. The zoo will post the top names on their website from August 27 to August 30 for the public to vote on. ( Submit a name suggestion ).

      "We know how much the community enjoys participating in the naming of our animals and look forward to their involvement," said Fox.

      The zoo plans for the cubs to be on exhibit from 11 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. daily.The zoo says the cubs will likely be relocated to other zoos in the spring.

      Snow leopards are part of a Species Survival Plan , an effort between the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and zoos around the world to help ensure their survival, says the zoo. It is estimated that there are between 4,000 and 6,500 snow leopards left in the wild.

      Snow leopards are typically found in the mountains of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and possibly also Myanmar (Burma).