Snow Leopard
Scientific Name
Panthera uncia
Geographic Range
Central Asia
A variety of prey, mainly wild ungulates but occasionally small animals
Endangered Status Graph - Vulnerable Endangered Status Graph - Vulnerable

Physical Description

Snow leopards are large cats that weigh up to 120 pounds and can be 4 feet long without their tail, which is about the same length as their body. Their fur, which has a pattern of grayish-black rosettes, keeps them warm and camouflaged in their mountainous habitat. These big felines are ambush predators and prefer to wait in rocky outcrops to pounce on prey.

These high-altitude animals are most active at dawn and dusk. They are also elusive and solitary except during mating season. Females may have one to five cubs after a three-to-four-month gestation. Her young will stay with her past the first winter and start learning to hunt at three months of age. Cubs reach maturity at 2–3 years old.

Did You Know?

  • Snow leopards can leap as far as 50 feet horizontally and 20 feet high and have been known to take down yaks, which may weigh more than 300 pounds.
  • They are adapted to rocky, cold conditions. Their large, thick paws help them stay on top of snow and their long tails offer warmth when wrapped around parts of their body.
  • Snow leopards do not roar. They do growl, chuff, and moan, though.

Caring for Carnivores

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