Snow Leopard

ANIMAL:
Snow Leopard   Panthera uncia

Type of Animal:
Feline

Habitat:
Mountains, alpine and sub-alpine areas

Location(s):
Mountainous, alpine & sub-alpine regions running from Hindu Kush in E. Afghanistan and Tian Shan range in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan & Uzbekistan to Himalayan mountains of China, N. India, Nepal & Bhutan. Also found in parts of Mongolia & S. Siberia.

Appearance:
White coat w/ black spots, male larger than female but otherwise sexes are very similar. Long tail used for jumping & as a blanket. Cubs born w/ black spots that turn into rosettes.

Food/Diet:
Favorite prey wild sheep & wild goats. Also eats domestic sheep, domestic goats, partridges, snowcocks, hares, rabbits, pikas, marmots, equines, yak, cattle, pigs, poultry, pheasant, waterfowl, smaller birds, musk deer, deer, carrion, langurs, gazelles, antelopes, mice, foxes, bear cubs, red pandas, & sometimes plants.

Status in Wild:
Endangered

Conservation:
Breeding in zoos, wildlife parks, & breeding centers. Snow Leopard Trust formed in 1981 to preserve snow leopard habitat in wild.

Lifestyle:
Solitary

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Leopard
Female-Leopardess
Young-Cub
Group-Solitary

Weight:
Male-100-120 lbs
Female-77-88 lbs
Young-26-33 lbs

Gestation:
3.5 months

Height:
2 ft

Body Length:
5 ft

Life Span:
15 years in wild, 20 years in captivity

Tail Length:
3 ft

Adults have no predators. However, cubs are preyed on by wolves.

Females have sole responsibility over 1-5 cubs

They’re very reclusive & very few people have ever seen a wild snow leopard.

Endangered due to hunting for fur, poaching for body parts used in Asian medicine, retribution killings by farmers for killing livestock, loss of prey, habitat loss, & trophy hunting.

Territory marked by claw rakings & urine-marking.

Females sexually mature at 2 years, males at 3 years.

Cubs stay with mom for up to 1.5 years.

They usually ambush prey from above.

Females give birth in rocky dens or crevices.

Fun Fact(s):
Called “ghosts of the mountain” due to elusive & shy nature.

They can neither roar nor purr. However, they can mew, growl, hiss, yowl, moan, & puff.

They can leap up to 50 ft horizontally & 20 ft vertically.

Snow leopards have pale green or gray eyes-unusual for cats.
 

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