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Snow leopard domestication project

Tiger, lion, cougar, leopard, anything cheetah size or larger

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exoticcats
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:57 pm

Re: Snow leopard domestication project

Postby exoticcats » Fri Oct 02, 2015 4:32 pm

UPDATE:
I've made a very significant progress on this project with 2 things:
- I now have completed the full general concept (more than 20 pages long) for it. Unlike the website, you can read it from end to end and get a good idea of what my project is about and how I plan to implement it. You can find it here: http://snow-leopard-at-home.org/general ... completed/

- I got to know a German private owner who keeps several exotic cats (cheetahs, cougars, tigers and servals) and is supportive of my project. He is also interested in expanding his collection, so we will join efforts to let him get his hands on snow leopards. This should solve the animal acquisition problem for me, as well as make it far easier to raise funding.
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GitaBooks
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:48 pm
Location: USA

Re: Snow leopard domestication project

Postby GitaBooks » Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:34 pm

Congrats! Best of luck with your project!
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Hamiltrash12345
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 11:29 am

Re: Snow leopard domestication project

Postby Hamiltrash12345 » Wed May 24, 2017 2:53 pm

Remember to breed for Tameness, not looks. That is something many breeders forget. One day I'll see if Florida will allow me to own a Snow Leopard. Also be sure to treat your cats like royalty, because they think they're royalty. My cat is sure to let us know who is boss.


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Nìmwey
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Location: Sweden
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Re: Snow leopard domestication project

Postby Nìmwey » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:47 pm

Is anything happening with this project? It's been more than two years.
My main interest is in parrots, dogs, toothed whales and snakes.
Future animals I want to have when we have land are camels, wolfdogs/wolves, coyotes or jackals, striped hyena or aardwolf. Also poultry, rabbits water buffalo and/or yak for livestock.
exoticcats
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:57 pm

Re: Snow leopard domestication project

Postby exoticcats » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:55 pm

I've been working on it the entire time. The biggest thing that happened is that I split the project up. So now, the idea of having snow leopards privately in general is separate from my plans to keep and breed them.
For part 1 (promoting private snow leopards), I've been looking for existing exotic cat breeders (including private zoos and the like) who are interested in snow leopards, and trying to help them with the knowledge and contacts I have. It's been very rough, though, since almost none of them had the will to put in any serious work. (The German private cat owner I mentioned earlier turned out to be a nut job who merely pretends to keep exotic cats). Also, many of the facilities who were interested had lots of other issues to worry about. A few "stuck around", and I'm still in touch with them. Maybe they can make something happen within the next 1-2 years.
Doing it this way - having someone else trying it and then drawing my conclusions - would be ideal. It would let me know exactly how well the species is suited for private (hands-on) ownership, as well as solve the acquisition issue for me.

As for my own facility: I realized that I'll probably have a hard time raising the required €100k (which I would have to do if I wanted to start right away) with nothing but a "vision". I also visited a few private cat owners in Europe and saw the difference between owners who start with nothing but a dream, and owners with actual qualifications and experience. After that, I gave up the idea to try and start ASAP, and have been looking for work experience with exotic cats instead. It's been very rough here in Europe, but after several years I managed to secure an internship for 1-2 months this year (2018) at a small private zoo. It won't be hands-on, but it will give me some valuable work experience and credibility. My dream would be to find hands-on internships with cats of an appropriate size (snow leopards, cheetahs, clouded leopards, pumas or lynxes), but it's extremely tough in Europe and I don't really want to travel to South Africa because of my weak stomach. After the internships, I'm not sure yet how I will proceed. Maybe I'll try a fund-raising run after all, or maybe I'll start as a private owner/breeder with 1-2 animals and try to expand from there.
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Nìmwey
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Re: Snow leopard domestication project

Postby Nìmwey » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:32 am

Do you think you could go get an internship in the United States? I was looking to do that, and there are always lots of listings on AZA's (I know...) site.
My main interest is in parrots, dogs, toothed whales and snakes.
Future animals I want to have when we have land are camels, wolfdogs/wolves, coyotes or jackals, striped hyena or aardwolf. Also poultry, rabbits water buffalo and/or yak for livestock.
exoticcats
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:57 pm

Re: Snow leopard domestication project

Postby exoticcats » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:08 am

I might be able to, but it would have to be worth it. Travel and rent are very high for an internship in the US, and hands-off internships would only get me so far. For internships, there also isn't any real difference between big accredited zoos and small private ones. Before I secured my internship at the small zoo, I've actually been to a large Swiss municipal zoo for a test weekend (they decided not to give me the internship after that). Sure, bigger zoos have better setups and many nice gimmicks for their cats (e. g. automated feeders to add some unpredictability to feeding). But I don't necessarily have to intern there in order to learn about them - I could just travel to different big zoos, talk to the keepers and (if zoo policy allows it) shadow them for a day or two.
For an intern, the everyday work would be the same in almost any zoo - cleaning, (maybe) assisting in food prep, and some enrichment. Smaller zoos might actually have an advantage here - depending on their level of staffing, they may appreciate it when an intern comes up with his own ideas for enrichment (instead of just following the zoo's enrichment program, as in larger zoos).

So basically, the only reason for me to ever come to the US would be to either intern at a really renowned zoo for some extra credibility (questionable how much it would help) or to intern at a place that's hands-on with adult snow leopards (even if they don't let me in with them, I could still learn from observation). If you come across a hands-on place in the US that takes interns, please let me know.

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