White leopard puzzles zoo|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|07/15/04 at 16:11:34|richard_f|xx|0|81.154.154.253|From the West Valley View (Litchfield Park, AZ):
> > White leopard puzzles zoo
> > Michael Clawson
> > July 14, 2004
> >
> > When the Wildlife World Zoo staff gathered to watch the
> birth of two
> leopard
> > cubs, they expected typical leopards - black coats with
> yellow spots.
> >
> > And then out popped a white one with black spots.
> >
> > "All of our mouths dropped open in shock," Angela Hains,
> the zoo's media
> and
> > education director, said. "We kept thinking, 'This can't
> be right.'"
> >
> > Well, it wasn't right. It was Isis, a healthy leopard cub
> that was born
> May
> > 23 - along with her brother, Osiris - to a 3-year-old
> leopard at the zoo.
> > The cubs, now 5 weeks old, were debuted to the public
> Monday.
> >
> > Isis' white coat, which looks faded and gray, is still a
> mystery to zoo
> > staff, many who began calling animal experts around the
> country once she
> was
> > born with her peculiar pelt. Experts at the animal park
> say the cub isn't
> an
> > albino, a naturally occurring, but rare, genetic mutation
> leaving the
> animal
> > with no pigmentation.
> >
> > "As far as we can tell, this may be the first of its
> kind," Hains said.
> > "Everyone we talk to is just as confused as we are as to
> why she came out
> > the way she did."
> >
> > The Wildlife World Zoo has been home to more than a dozen
> white tigers and
> > their white offspring over the years, but never a white
> leopard, Hains
> said.
> >
> > "We are so proud of our white tigers, but we've had so
> many that the magic
> > has kind of worn off," she said. "This is incredible
> because we've never
> > seen anything like it before, nor has anyone else. It's
> really strange."
> >
> > So far the housecat-sized leopard is very healthy, but
> zoo staff will be
> > keeping an extra close eye on her to make sure nothing
> else surprises
> them,
> > she said.
> >
> > If anything happened to Isis' coat it would either get
> whiter or it would
> > fade more into her natural colors, Hains said.
> >
> > "We really have no idea, so we're going to wait it out
> and see what
> >  happens," she said. "No matter what happens, though,
> she's a fantastic
> > addition to the zoo."
> >
> > Isis and Osiris are now in display at the zoo on the
> corner of Northern
> > Avenue and the Loop 303.
> >
> >
> >||