WEST ORANGE, NJ - Turtleback Zoo's male snow leopard, Gala, now has a potential romantic interest.  On Thursday, Feb. 14, the Zoo welcomed Chameli, a nine month old snow leopard transferred from Cape May Zoo. Her arrival is the result of a recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums species survival plan.  It is hoped that  the pair will ultimately breed.

Credit: njblogspot.com

Chameli is Hindu for "jasmine flower." This is the first time in the history of Turtleback Zoo, celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, that a pair of snow leopards are on site.

“Turtle Back Zoo’s newest family member marks a very exciting time for us,” said Dr. Jeremy Goodman, director. “The pair of snow leopards holds a promising future for these majestic endangered cats and for the continued growth of the zoo.”

The current plan is to have Chameli and Gala rotate hours in the Amazing Asia exhibit, but once Chameli is old enough, the snow leopards will be exhibited together.