Mar. 9, 2018 -- A seriously injured snow leopard from Qinghai Province that suffered leg fractures is recovering well after undergoing a second operation in Beijing.
The rare cat, a species high on China's list of protected animals, was found by four herders in Zadoi county, Yushu Tibetan autonomous prefecture, in late November, and transported to Xining Wildlife Park at the provincial capital.
The female leopard - since named Lingxue, or "Conquer Snow" - was transferred to a pet clinic the next day due to the poor animal rehabilitation conditions at the park, according to Qi Xinzhang, deputy director of the park.
Lingxue was discovered to have a fracture to her left hind-leg and other minor injuries that may have been caused by a vehicle. The leopard underwent surgery on Dec 13 and was soon able to stand on all four limbs.
However, the surgery was not as successful as originally thought, and her leg broke again in late January. Anxious and worried, Qi reached out for help via social media. His appeal received an almost instant response, and the leopard was flown to Beijing to undergo surgery at an animal hospital on Feb 7.
"The possible causes for failure in the first surgery are still unknown," said veterinarian Yao Haifeng, who performed the operation in Beijing for free.
The animal is recovering well in Beijing Zoo's veterinary hospital, staying in a cage specially made for it to restrict heavy activity, said Lu Yan, director of the hospital.
"If everything goes well, Lingxue will be released back into the wild in Qinghai in three months," he said.