Wellington Zoo's $3.5 million snow leopards to be funded by council

Snow leopards could be coming to Wellington Zoo with the local council setting aside $3.5 million to see this happen.

The Wellington City Council is planning to spend the money to re-home a pair of snow leopards from the US within the next two years.

The zoo has long wanted the endangered cats and will now have that dream realised with the council incorporating them into its draft 2018-28 Long-Term Plan.  

The snow leopards would be a part of the zoo's Asia precinct and would also complete its 10 year capital programme.

"They are my favourite cats," Wellington Zoo chief executive Karen Fifield told Fairfax.

"They live in high areas in the Himalayas and have feet the size of dinner plates.

"As the only zoo in New Zealand with snow leopards, we would be part of the international commitment to protect this species."

Ms Fifield doesn't believe the climate would be a problem for the US bred cats.

Anxious looking snow leaopard pacing his enclosure.
Source: iStock