A zoo in Washington state regrettably had to make the decision to euthanize a 6-week-old snow leopard cub due to multiple heart defects.
The Associated Press (courtesy of Seattle Times) reported on three cubs located at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, all born with birth defects.
Two of the babies were able to undergo surgery to correct eyelid defects, but one of the sibling cubs had additional significant health complications, which included going into heart failure.
According to SeattlePi, experts at the Woodland Park Zoo felt euthanizing the male cub was the "humane option" considering his condition.
The triplets were born on May 2. Two weeks after their birth, it was reported the cubs were doing well, and it appeared the baby snow leopards were progressing normally.
“They appear to be healthy, their eyes are just now opening and their bellies were full of milk, indicating that they are nursing,” the zoo's Director of Animal Health, Dr. Darin Collins, had told King 5 News after the birth.
Sadly, the health of the cubs had changed since that time of report. Collins said yesterday the two surviving cubs, post-surgery, have a good prognosis.
Snow leopards have become rare over time and are considered an endangered species. The large cats are native to the mountains of Central Asia.