Snow leopard known for having 7 healthy cubs dies after cancer

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FILE – In this July 15, 2010, file photo, two snow leopard cubs born two months earlier stand next to their mother, Himani, at the entrance to their den at the Cape May County Zoo in Cape May Court House, N.J. (Dale Gerhard/The Press of Atlantic City via AP, File)

CAPE MAY COUNTY, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey zoo says a snow leopard that gained national attention for giving birth to seven cubs has died at 17 years old.

A county press release said Himani was “peacefully euthanized following a battle with cancer” on Friday.

The Press of Atlantic City reports that the leopard reared four litters of cubs at a time when snow leopard breeding success was at a low point.

Himani was born in June 2003 and came to the Cape May County Zoo in 2009 from the Knoxville Zoo in Tennessee.

Dr. Alex Ernst, associate veterinarian at the zoo, says Himani’s contributions to the conservation of her species are “immeasurable.”

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