6-month-old Tashi and Gobi play in the white surprise

By People Staff
July 06, 2009 07:18 PM

It was like Christmas morning for two snow-leopard cubs at Australia’s Melbourne Zoo: The duo awoke July 2 to 10 tons of fresh snow! Tashi and Gobi, now 6 months old, took their first steps on the white stuff with little hesitation. They leaped, licked and then happily chilled out, according to the local Herald Sun newspaper, after the zoo had trucked in the cold treat from Mount Buller.

The two cubs are the first snow leopards to be born at the zoo in 20 years, and they have a pack of admirers. In April, newspaper readers submitted more than 2,000 names for the little big cats. The zookeepers ultimately decided on Tashi for the girl, the Tibetan word for Lucky, and Gobi for the boy, after the southern area of Mongolia that is native land for the endangered species.

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