CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Metro Richmond Zoo has welcomed a three-month-old snow leopard cub to the mix of more than 2000 animals that call the zoo home.

The female cub, Alakhai, was born on Aug. 5, and after spending a few months growing stronger and bonding with her mom, Alakhai is now old enough to explore the outside habitat and can be seen on exhibit.

Snow leopard cubs are born defenseless, and rely completely on their mother’s care and protection. Cubs open their eyes after about seven days and don’t start walking until around four weeks old, according to the Zoo.

The Zoo’s veterinary team said Alakhai is a healthy cub and weighed in at about nine pounds at 12 weeks old.

The Metro Richmond Zoo welcomes a female snow leopard cub, Alakhai, to the zoo, Nov. 29, 2022. (Photo: Metro Richmond Zoo)

Snow leopards are native to Central and Southeast Asia mountain ranges and are listed as Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The Zoo said the best estimates of the wild population of the elusive big cat place them between 3,000 and 6,0000.

Those wishing to have a chance to see Alakhai can visit the Metro Richmond Zoo at 8300 Beaver Bridge Rd, Moseley, Va. Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily admission tickets are $17.95 for children, $23.95 for adults and $22.95 for seniors aged 60 and older.