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Cold snap won't deter snow leopards' romantic San Diego holiday

December 6, 2011 |  5:33 pm


Visitors to San Diego have been known to show their displeasure when their visit coincides with one of the city's rare cold snaps.

That will not be the case with Beauregard, a 13-year-old snow leopard deployed to the San Diego Zoo from the Santa Barbara Zoo with a specific mission: impregnate the zoo's female snow leopard, Anna.

Anna, 8, is choosey. She didn't much care for the zoo's male snow leopard. So the two zoos cut a deal: the San Diego male went to Santa Barbara; Beauregard came to San Diego to see if he could succeed where his predecessor failed.

As a member of a species native to the chilly heights of central Asia, Beauregard is built for the cold, with padded paws and a stout nose that warms and filters the air.

The introduction to Anna will be a slow process, possibly taking weeks.

--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Beauregard, the snow leopard. Credit: San Diego Zoo