'It's very strange without him' - Rocky the snow leopard dies at Banham Zoo

Rocky the snow leopard has died at Banham Zoo. 

Rocky the snow leopard has died at Banham Zoo. - Credit: Zoological Society of East Anglia

A 17-year-old snow leopard has died at Banham Zoo and he will be missed by staff and visitors alike. 

The difficult decision was made to euthanise him after his health had started to deteriorate in recent times.

Rocky arrived at Banham Zoo in 2006 and was paired with female snow leopard Enif, with the two of them becoming parents in 2010.

Rocky arrived at Banham Zoo in 2006. 

Rocky arrived at Banham Zoo in 2006. - Credit: Zoological Society of East Anglia

These cubs have gone on to breed in other collections as part of the European breeding programme and they too have subsequently bred, passing on Rocky’s genes to future generations.

Oliver Lewis-McDonald, Banham Zoo’s team leader of carnivores, said: “Rocky has been a pleasure to care for over the years and it's very strange without him here keeping an eye on the happenings going on around the zoo, from his favourite spot on the roof.

"The visitors who grew to love him, the other carnivore keepers past and present and I, will always have a soft spot for him.

"Times like this are difficult but ultimately we are here to provide the best care possible from beginning to end and this decision was the best for Rocky."