Snow leopard cubs unveiled at Los Angeles Zoo

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Two new black and white endangered snow leopard cubs bounded into the public eye Tuesday with their debut at the Los Angeles Zoo. 

The cubs were born in May but have spent the last four months growing behind the scenes as they bonded with their mother and gained enough strength to navigate their outdoor habitat, according to a news release from the zoo. 

Their parents are Georgina and Fred, a pair of adult snow leopards that were paired together in 2015 as a part of a program that seeks to help ensure the survival of certain endangered species.

"There is less known about these beautiful cats than most of the other large cat species due to the extreme habitat snow leopards have evolved to live in the wild," animal keeper Stephanie Zielinski said in a statement.

Snow leopards are large cats native to Central Asia's mountains, according to the World Wildlife Fund. They are found naturally in 12 countries, including China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Russia.

The greatest short-term threat they face is hunting and retaliatory killing by humans whose livestock they have killed for survival. In the long-term, climate change's impact on their snowy habitats pose the greatest risk. 

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