Brendan the zookeeper showed the new girl around to see the animals.
“Ooh,” said Megan pointing into the fence. “He’s beautiful.”
“That’s Yamantaka. We’re lucky to have him. Snow Leopards are very rare.” Brendan began angrily digging around in his satchel.
“Oh, I keep losing chargers for my tablet,” sighed Brendan. “Anyway, Yamantaka is especially rare because he has a mutation.”
“He doesn’t age. We’ve had tons of vets check him. He’s over 300 years old.”
“Wow! What has he learned in all that time?” she mused.
“Right? He’s a treasure. We try very hard to keep him happy and healthy.”
“Is that a tablet he’s got?”
“Yeah, he’s had that for years. No way it works anymore. He kinda plays with it like he knows what he’s doing right?”
That’s when Megan noticed the book hanging out of Brendan’s satchel. “Hey your satchel’s open.”
“Oops! It always falls open.”
“What’s the book?”
“Oh it’s great! It’s a murder mystery. Takes place in a zoo. The guy writes in such detail, he had to have worked in a zoo to know all this stuff.”
“What’s the author’s name?”
“Oh, it’s this mysterious guy: Leopold Snow.”
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction: https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/sunday-photo-fiction-january-14th-2018/
Snow Leopards are rare and are a Threatened Species: “…As of 2016, the global population was estimated at 4,500 to 8,745 mature individuals…”
I got the Snow Leopard’s name from a list of Tibetan deities. Interestingly enough, Yamantaka, means, “Conqueror of Death.”