Cloe Female Snow Leopard

DOB 5/11/97 – 3/8/2011
Cloe is an interesting combination: a very shy, but curious, snow leopard. She spends most of her days inside her air-conditioned den. However, even on hot days, she can be coaxed out for a tour by her favorite keepers as long as the guests keep quiet.

When she comes out, she keeps her eyes focused on the keeper and blocks out the tour guests. While not shameless for attention like her cougar neighbors, she seems to crave it nonetheless. At dinnertime she comes over and is more interested in “chuffing” at her feeder than in the food itself. In the evenings, both Cloe and Hercules will be outside. While her neighbor is much more showy and animated, she sits there majestically, unamused by his buffoonery.

Snow Leopards are extremely endangered. It’s estimated there are only 4,000 – 7,000 left in the wild. In spite of their threatened status, an individual was able to purchase Chloe as a birthday gift for his wife. Chloe is just one example of the trade in exotic animals, a practice so rampant some experts say it rivals the illegal drug trade. Today, Chloe lives at Big Cat Rescue in a 1,200-square-foot habitat complete with air-conditioned den and rocky ledges. Although somewhat shy, when given ice cubes for enrichment, her curiosity takes over and she paws and plays in them like an overgrown kitten.



Tribute to Cloe the Snow Leopard

I shut off the Snow Leopard cave air conditioner for the last time tonight.  Cloe the Snow Leopard had just left her exquisite body and was bound for that place where all good cats go when they die.

As I walked to the office, the chorus of lions stopped me in my tracks to listen.  An over-sized butterfly began circling me and then perched on a branch right above my head for a long moment before disappearing high into the boughs of the tree and darkening sky.

I felt it was Cloe;  happy to finally be free and wanted to share the moment with you.  She kept circling before stopping to say, “Good-bye” and leaving.

Thank you, everyone for giving her, and all of these cats the best lives possible…..Carole, Founder Big Cat Rescue



I cannot believe she is gone!!! I cleaned her enclosure yesterday and spent an extra long time with her. I sort of knew by the look in her eye. I told her it was OK to go and that we would always love her and never forget her, and she responded with the Elvis lip and the grunt that Herc would do to me all the time. Except Cloe never did that before. I guess that was her good-bye to me. Thank you to Gale for assigning me to clean leopards yesterday. Who knew it would be my last time with this be

autiful, majestic creature? Godspeed Cloe, I hope you are running with Herc and when you lay down, you wrap that gorgeous tail around your face to keep you warm…FOREVER LOVED AND ALWAYS MISSED….Regina, Volunteer Senior Keeper

Beautiful Cloe, now at rest. Thank you to all who took great care of her, and loved her so much….Pam, Volunteer Partner

Oh Cloe, was that talk with the “Lion Statue” a message to Hercules to tell him you were on your way??? That is what Hercules did the day before he died… he went to his “Lion Statue.” This is again a very painful loss. Cloe was our beautiful “Princess.” NOBODY will ever forget her and all her friends who are now enjoying her company. I wish I could visit their world and tell them all how much we miss them and love them!I know they all are resting in peace now with no more pain and FREE! R.I.P. Beautiful Cloe! Marie, Volunteer Senior Keeper


I guess maybe I didn’t see what most saw when they were with Cloe.  Of course, she was beautiful and yes, she was intriguing. But, to me, she embodied everything wrong with wild animals in captivity.  She always made me face the question, “why am I here?”

More than any other cat, Cloe seemed discontent in a cage.  I think she knew she was there because she was a prized possession, a rarity, an endangered species.  With every glimpse of her, I couldn’t help but face the harsh truth that, with enough money or determination, man can imprison any form of wildlife.  She was reclusive for a reason….she didn’t want to be in a cage.

Cloe helped galvanize my determination to continue this fight.  Sometimes, my eyes glaze over when I read the statistics of all the animals disappearing, all the animals being traded, all the animals being abused.  But then, all I have to do is think of Cloe.  Her spirit wills me to continue the fight.

To her, I owe thanks for guiding me in this direction.  To her, I wish boundless joy in her final freedom…..Julie, Senior Keeper

Chloe, so shy and secretive 5+ years ago when I first was able to meet and care for you. Over time and especially in this past year, I have come to know and love you for the amazing almost mystical creature you are. I am sorry that this relationship had to bloom due to the ever challenging meds delivery. I loved your sense of quiet humor,even when you were sick, and the funny antics we had to go through to beg, plead and cajole you into taking the medicines you needed. I will forever remember you lying flat on your back on your rocky outcropping with one paw on the wall and your tail hanging free and looking at me upside down! The pain is great now but you are FREE and joining Hercules and Zoe. You are now at peace, gorgeous one! It cannot be said enough, you will be dearly missed, but never forgotten! Lisa, Volunteer Senior Keeper

Cloe you will be forever missed. You were such a beautiful cat and I smiled every time I got to see you. I will always remember you. You and Hercules have fun roaming free….Teri, Volunteer Partner

You were the most majestic cat. It was always such a special treat when you graced one of my tours with your magical presence. You will always be loved and never be forgotten. Now you are free to scale the highest peaks of heaven with Hercules and Zoe, no more pain only freedom and joy!  Kim D, Volunteer Keeper


I didn’t have the chance to know you for very long before you passed, but I consider myself extremely lucky and privileged to have known you, if only for that short spurt of time. You were always shy and elusive, but there were a few times when I was able to catch of glimpse of that gorgeous silver fur or the end of your perfectly groomed tail before slinking away into your den. There was one time, however, when I got a closer look at you and that beautiful, majestic face. I will always remember the skepticism (yet curiosity), in your large, gleaming eyes. That brief experience is definitely one of the highlights of my experience at BCR as an Intern. It was truly a pleasure to have met you and to see you climbing along the rocky part of your den.

Thanks for everything!   Chrissy, Intern


I was lucky to catch occasional glimpses of you before you went to your private place. It was always like a present you gave me and I was honored that you gave me this gift.

I will never forget your beautiful face and hope you are happier now that you are reunited with Hercules. You will be missed by all.  Diana, Volunteer Partner


Cloe, Cloe; You chose to leave us as the weather warms and the trees come alive. Now you’ll romp in “angels gardens” with Zoe, Herc, Shaq, Venus + Sultan. With your eyes full of life again, you’re finally free again. We’ll miss you…Rosie, Volunteer Senior Keeper

Cloe Snowy, what a valiant fighter you were. You were strong and survived your kidney stones and urinary tract infections. You suffered through meds being delivered in every meat imaginable, but you kept struggling, even when people around you knew it was time, you kept fighting.

I’ve had the pleasure of sharing some finer moments with you Cloe, like the time I was closing lockouts, and you hopped up on your rock so you could watch the approaching tour group arrive, only to hop down as they walked up and retreat into your cave. I thought to myself you were saying “Talk to the Tail”!

I had the pleasure, on a few occasions, of finding you sprawled atop your platform perch, although you looked most comfortable lying along the rock wall to your cave.

We were all worried when you left to go to the vet’s office that day. We were all glad to see you come back that night, and I got to spend some time with you, trying to keep you awake, and encouraging you to sit up. I didn’t want to leave you that night until I knew everything would be okay.

I had been talking to my husband earlier that week about the Snow Leopard Trust (which we joined on a monthly donation basis last year in memory of Hercules after he passed). I mentioned it was March and I hadn’t noticed the monthly withdrawals coming out and I wasn’t sure if I would need to re-enroll for 2011 or if we automatically stayed enrolled. Well, the day after Cloe came back from the vet visit, I got home from work and in the mailbox was a letter from the Snow Leopard Trust (and my 2011 supporter sticker) thanking me for my continued support. I took that as a sign “everything was going to be okay” but later realized that was actually a sign from Hercules that he was calling Cloe back to him.

Be free sweet Snowy. It was a pleasure to know you….Meredith, Volunteer Senior Keeper

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