Babs, a snow leopard at Utah’s Hogle Zoo, is expecting her first cub this summer.

The zoo announced the pregnancy on its social media Tuesday, saying that though snow leopards don’t have exact due dates, the 4-year-old is estimated to give birth in early June.

The father is Chim, an 11-year-old snow leopard at the zoo.

Animal care teams were able to confirm via ultrasound that Babs is pregnant with at least one cub — first-time moms usually only give birth to one cub but can have up to three or four — but the gender of the cub is unknown.

‘Vulnerable’ cub

Snow leopards are considered a vulnerable species. That means that the large cat, native to Central and South Asia, is at a high risk of extinction in the wild, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

“We are excited about the potential to contribute to this vulnerable species,” the Hogle Zoo stated.

However, the zoo noted that the pregnancy is “challenging” since first-time snow leopard mothers “have a much steeper learning curve than experienced moms, meaning there is a significant chance the cub may not survive this pregnancy or birth.”

“Every mom takes time to learn how to be a successful mom,” the zoo stated. “While her first pregnancy may not be successful, our dedication to contributing to and preserving this species remains strong, regardless of the result. We maintain cautious optimism and are prepared for every possible outcome!”

If the birth is successful, zoogoers won’t be able to see the cub for a few more months, the Hogle Zoo said.

“This period behind the scenes allows the cub to receive necessary vaccinations and adapt safely and comfortably to their new environment, while staying close to mom to learn the ropes,” the zoo said on social media.

Baby animals abound

Babs isn’t the only animal at the Hogle Zoo that is expecting.

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Pele, a western lowland gorilla, is also pregnant, with a due date around June or July. The 22-year-old gorilla came to Utah in 2022 from Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida, on a breeding recommendation from the Gorilla Species Survival Plan.

Three cougar cubs are also new to the zoo this year.

The trio are all rescues: One is from Utah, who was found after a hunter shot and killed a cougar. The other two were orphaned after hunters shot and killed their mother in Nebraska, according to KSL-TV.

They may be cubs (under 2 years old), but the cougars are almost 100 pounds.

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