The Purr-fect Valentine’s Day Gift at Turtle Back Zoo

Snow Leopard is the Newest Addition to the TBZ Family

(February 6, 2013 – West Orange, NJ): Humans are not the only species celebrating romance on February 14th. Turtle Back Zoo is preparing a very special introduction for Gala, the zoo’s resident male snow leopard.

Chameli, a nine-month-old snow leopard, will make her Turtle Back Zoo debut on Valentine’s Day. Chameli means jasmine flower in Hindu. She was transferred from the Cape May Zoo on a breeding loan as part of a recommendation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums species survival plan two months ago. This is the first time in the zoo’s history to have a pair of snow leopards on site.

“Turtle Back Zoo’s newest family member marks a very exciting time for us,” said Dr. Jeremy Goodman, Director, Turtle Back Zoo. “The pair of snow leopards holds a promising future for these majestic endangered cats and for the continued growth of the zoo.”

For now, Chameli and Gala will rotate hours in the zoo’s Amazing Asia exhibit, but there is a bright future ahead for these majestic animals. Once Chameli is large enough, the snow leopards will be on exhibit together, another first for the zoo. They will be paired up in the hopes of bringing new life to Turtle Back Zoo in the form of snow leopard cubs.

Visitors can help the zoo take care of its snow leopards by “adopting” one on the zoo’s website.


PRESS: For more information about Turtle Back Zoo, please contact Lori Faigin at The S3 Agency: 973-257-5533 or

About The Turtle Back Zoo

Turtle Back Zoo, New Jersey’s #1 Zoo, is AZA-accredited and features over 800 animals from around the world. Turtle Back Zoo is part of South Mountain Recreation Complex, located in West Orange, NJ. Opened in 1963, Turtle Back Zoo is committed to providing an enriching recreation experience that fosters excellence in wildlife education and wildlife conservation for present and future generations.


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