Greater Milwaukee Foundation to help zoo acquire snow leopards

As the Greater Milwaukee Foundation continues to celebrate its centennial year, the foundation will help the Milwaukee County Zoo adopt two snow leopards from Europe.

The zoo will use funding from the foundation to add a male and a female snow leopard to its exhibit in the Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country area. The two new animals will join Tomiris, an adult female snow leopard, whose 1-year-old snow leopard cub, Sossy, died unexpectedly in June.

Snow leopards are endangered species, and acquiring two snow leopards with the foundation’s support will help the zoo “continue to play a meaningful part in snow leopard conservation,” zoo director Chuck Wikenhauser said in a statement.

By taking in snow leopards from Europe, the zoo will introduce new genetics to the American population, which helps with the species’ long-term survival.

It is not yet clear when the felines will arrive at their new home as the zoo figures out how to secure necessary permits, determine transportation and fulfill health requirements. The processes will likely take six to 12 months, according to estimates from zoo officials.

“While the impact of this ‘Gift to the Community’ may not be immediate, these two snow leopards will bring joy when they arrive and for many years to come,” said Ellen Gillian, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

Over the last three decades, the foundation and its pool of donors have backed the Zoological Society of Milwaukee, the nonprofit that supports the zoo, with more than $1.3 million in grants.

The gift to the zoo is the latest in a series of gifts the foundation has bestowed upon the community in honor of its 100th year. The foundation previously backed a free transit service day for the region and also offered area residents free admission to the Mitchell Park Conservatory.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display