A gift that keeps giving

A new snow leopard cub has been born at the Milwaukee County Zoo, and her whole family has a special connection to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. 

Both the cub’s father, Asa, and mother, Orya, came to the Zoo as the result of the Foundation’s Gifts to the Community, which provided special access, experiences and opportunities to the public each month in celebration of the Foundation’s 100th year of service in 2015.

Asa arrived in 2015 from Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, N.Y., while Orya arrived the following year from Zoo Zurich in Switzerland. The Zoo had hoped they would become a breeding pair – particularly since snow leopards remain endangered due to poaching and other threats – and this year their hopes were realized.

Milja (MEE-lah) was born May 11, 2020, and Foundation staff received the honor of choosing her name, which is a tribute to her grandmother, Dshamilja, who was born in the wild and died in 2019. The genetic diversity that was passed down to Milja makes her especially valuable for preservation of her species.

Zookeepers report that Milja is growing and developing well, and she will be able to greet the public soon.

For additional updates, photos and videos, visit Milja’s web page.