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55 Facts about Snow Leopards

Updated on June 8, 2016

Facts about Snow Leopards 1-10

  1. The scientific name for the snow leopard is Uncia Uncia.
  2. It is a descendant of the wild cat and panther families.
  3. Native to the rugged and snowy highlands of Central Asia, the endangered snow leopard is particularly found in the Himalaya region.
  4. China holds 60% of the snow leopard population.
  5. They are widely spread over Central and South Asia in countries like Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, India, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Bhutan, Russia and Kazakhstan.
  6. They prefer living in ridges, cliffs and rock outcrops. These locations are convenient because they provide camouflage for stalking and sneaking up on prey.
  7. They are found in altitudes as high as 3500 meters above sea level.
  8. In summer, the snow leopard may climb higher to cooler altitudes of as high as 5000 meters above sea level!
  9. They are one of the most beautiful creatures in the world. They have gorgeous smoky-grey coats, patterned with black spots and rosettes.
  10. The fur on their belly is about 5 inches thick!

Russian Snow Leopard: They have thick and dense  bodies and a heavy furry tails to protect them from the biting low temperatures of the highland and mountain zones they live in.
Russian Snow Leopard: They have thick and dense bodies and a heavy furry tails to protect them from the biting low temperatures of the highland and mountain zones they live in.

Facts, Continued...

11. Snow leopards are generally smaller than most cats, weighing only about 30-55 kg.

12. In length, they measure about 80-135 cm long.

13. At shoulder, they stand at almost 2 meters tall!

14. The tail of a snow leopard is almost as long as its body.

15. Having a long furry tail is one of their unique aspects. The tail aids in balancing when walking over steep and narrow ledges.

16. Why is the tail so thick and furry? Unlike most wild cats, the snow leopard lives in very harsh cold climate so its tail acts as a muffler to shield its nose and mouth.

17. The female is about 30% smaller than the male.

18. They have well-adapted paws for walking on snow and even wading across thick snow cover.

19. They very closely resemble the leopards.

20. Often described as shy creatures, they are rarely seen out in the open.

Angry Snow Leopard baring its vicious canines. The snow leopards are generally non-aggressive cats but like any other threatened creature, they may only attack to defend themselves or their cubs.
Angry Snow Leopard baring its vicious canines. The snow leopards are generally non-aggressive cats but like any other threatened creature, they may only attack to defend themselves or their cubs.

Facts about Snow Leopards 21-30

21. When they sense human presence, they become nocturnal animals to avoid unnecessary encounters with humans that may be a threat or danger.

22. Because of being reserved creatures, they are very mysterious and very little is known about them.

23. They are very independent and solitary creatures, living alone most of the time and only socializing during the mating season.

24. In areas where prey is abundant, they are closely packed within a near range of 30-65 km.

25. In contrast, areas with flat terrain, may not host a lost of prey but they offer protective travelling routes and snow leopards are widely distributed over an area of 1000 km.

26. Areas with little or no shrubbery for example the Tibetan Plateau contain many ridges and rocky cliffs that offer protective traveling routes for snow leopards.

27. Unlike other big cats, the snow leopard is a non-aggressive animal that when threatened by another predator, may choose to back away, leaving its well-earned kill to be finished by the invader.

28. Reports of snow leopards attacking or killing humans are unheard of; in fact, snow leopards are known to avoid human presence than any other big cat.

29. They may only become aggressive to defend themselves or their cubs when threatened.

30. Being an agile hunter, they are known to stealthily attack prey from behind, lunging for it in one go and tearing it to shreds.

Snow Leopards are opportunistic creatures that eat whatever meat available in their habitats, including carrion and domestic farm animals.
Snow Leopards are opportunistic creatures that eat whatever meat available in their habitats, including carrion and domestic farm animals.

Facts 31-40

31. Feeding on a variety of herbivores that are found in their mountain range habitats, the snow leopards are the only known opportunistic predators among big cats.

32. Their common prey include gazelles, deer, wild goats, sheep, snow cocks, pikas, rodents like hares, mice and rabbits, markhor, bobak, tahr, marmots, and wild boars.

33. Ones that live in the Himalayan mountain ranges mainly feed on the bharals also known as the Himalayan blue sheep.

34. In winter, when large herds of herbivores migrate to warmer places with rich pastures, the snow leopard may encroach on corrals and kill off all the domestic animals in one go.

35. In average twice in a month, they may hunt large mammals and feed off their flesh for several days.

36. After hunting down an animal, some drag their food into snow tunnels for storage and safe keeping.

37. Goats and sheep are their most common prey.

38. They eat slowly and a kill may last for 2 to 3 days.

39. They usually have spots on a less-dense thin coat in summers.

40. Their gestation period is about 3-3½ months.

Adorable Snow Leopard Cub Walking on the Snow: Young Snow Leopard Cubs live with their mothers for up to 2 years. After which they leave their mothers and live independent solitary lives.
Adorable Snow Leopard Cub Walking on the Snow: Young Snow Leopard Cubs live with their mothers for up to 2 years. After which they leave their mothers and live independent solitary lives.

More Facts

41. A female searches for well-sheltered rock crevices as convenient and safe locations for giving birth without having to be alert all the time in case of any possible danger.

42. An average female gives birth to a litter consisting 1 to 5 cubs.

43. The cubs do not open their eyes until they are 7 years old.

44. The young cubs live with their mothers until two years of age, which is about the same time they eat solid food.

45. During the time spent with their mothers, cubs learn how to hunt down prey and their mothers teach them handy hunting skills for survival.

46. By the end of 2 years, the cubs are already old enough to leave their mothers and live independent lives.

47. A mother may find it hard to feed her cubs and in some cases, the cubs may die to due to starvation.

48. Most cubs do not reach adulthood due to many natural and even man-made reasons like habitat destruction.

49. An average snow leopard lives between 15 to 18 years of age but some snow leopards bred in captivity are said to have lived up to 21.

50. They use scent markings to track and find mates.

51. Like most other big cats, the snow leopard frequently patrols its territory, renewing its scent markings by scratching on the ground with its hind legs, spraying urine on important landmarks like prominent rocks and fallen trees, and depositing feces around its claimed land.

52. They have unique pale green or gray eyes that are very unusual for most cats.

53. They are on the brink of extinction. Today, only 6000 snow leopards are surviving in the wild.

54. A major reason for their endangerment is that they are excessively hunted for their organs, fur and claws that are valuable in Chinese medicine.

55. However there is still a ring of hope for a few of the surviving snow leopards. A countable population of these big cats have been discovered living in 16 locations in the Wakhan Corridor in north eastern Afghanistan.

Three Siblings: Snow leopard cubs at the Cat Survival Trust, Welwyn, UK.
Three Siblings: Snow leopard cubs at the Cat Survival Trust, Welwyn, UK.

Comments

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    • profile image

      abbie 4 hours ago

      The first fact isn't right.

    • profile image

      DJ 6 days ago

      nice facts

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      lacyannabell 6 days ago

      !@!@

    • profile image

      ruby cat dog thing 7 days ago

      thanks for the facts it helped me in school

    • profile image

      tg 9 days ago

      so cute

    • profile image

      mithchel 11 days ago

      anyone that is named billy is awesome [ :

    • profile image

      juveria 2 weeks ago

      this is a really good facts they helped me do my assighnment

    • profile image

      malia bailey 2 weeks ago

      all the cubs are so cute!!!!

    • profile image

      yo mama 4 weeks ago

      ugly face

    • profile image

      Deen Oilo 5 weeks ago

      Thanks for the kindness of taking time in this project to help people that need this. This helped in my project and I really liked it.

      Just to make sure they open their eyes when they are 7 days old, not 7 years.

      Appart from that this is a really helpful website and can help people like me to set up their base of their project.

      Kind Regards,

      Deen Oilo

    • profile image

      ceana 5 weeks ago

      Thanks for help. It really awesome and accurate

    • profile image

      Cold_Fyre 6 weeks ago

      Ha! Pictures: cute, hungry, ticked off, playful, curious, sad!

    • profile image

      Ann 2 months ago

      nice thanks for the info but mabye use smaller words and more fun facts

    • profile image

      lucia 2 months ago

      beautiful

    • profile image

      Patricia Adams 2 months ago

      I love snow leopards. Please recheck some of the facts. 43 and 44 are incorrect, their eyes open at 7 days, they eat solid food much sooner than 2 years.

      Some people will take all facts written here as the total truth without question. I realize that these are just typos. But this is how some people get all their knowledge.

    • profile image

      lucy price 3 months ago

      so so so so cool I think that is amazing

    • profile image

      Anwen D. Matthew 3 months ago

      They are so cute. I would love to join these people.

    • profile image

      bob 3 months ago

      so cool

    • profile image

      amanda 4 months ago

      thank you

    • profile image

      yo 4 months ago

      cool

    • profile image

      This is so asome 4 months ago

      This was so interesting lol

    • profile image

      Divya choudhary 4 months ago

      It is superb i like this sooo much as i want to do my holiday homework and it's help me a lot and now i am sooo happy

    • profile image

      Isabelle 4 months ago

      aww this is so sad to read because they are highly endangered but incredibly intelligent creatures and I think they absolutely deserve better!! Voted up

    • profile image

      lol 4 months ago

      nice

    • profile image

      AnnaJem 4 months ago

      You said the cubs only opened their eyes until they were 7YEARS old do you mean 7days old??

    • profile image

      Billy 4 months ago

      So they are blind for 7 years? (fact 43)

    • profile image

      terande 4 months ago

      nice

    • profile image

      xx 4 months ago

      nice

    • profile image

      Hi 4 months ago

      This was very informational and helped me out on my project. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Victoria W 4 months ago

      I LOVE THIS

    • profile image

      jerome brown jr randolf 4 months ago

      very helpfu;l thank u

    • profile image

      John Tonwik 4 months ago

      Cool

    • profile image

      Destiny Hixon 4 months ago

      this would be great if i was studying about snow leopards.........

      But i'm not!

    • profile image

      cohen peterson 4 months ago

      omg so cool

    • profile image

      ggygfgh 5 months ago

      #43 is not right because it's 7 days old not 7 years.

      :(Lol):

      :)

    • profile image

      Angel 5 months ago

      Lots of information I love it

    • profile image

      A Richardson 5 months ago

      I love snow leopards and I want to be a zoo vet and this site gives me more info. about them. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      unkown 5 months ago

      #43 is not true. im sure its seven months.

    • profile image

      ;) 5 months ago

      i am doing a project and this helps me a ton! It is very useful

    • profile image

      cute girl kid 5 months ago

      This is a great informational website. I am a kid in 5th grade doing a project about 'animal adaptations poster'! this has all the info I need. (:

    • profile image

      maly 5 months ago

      i like it

    • profile image

      september 5 months ago

      Thank you so much for collecting these facts. I have to do a project about snow leopards and I am doing a trivia game. This helped me so much!! Thank so very much for all the interesting facts. I think my class will love it and learn so much about snow leopards! I am trying to spread the fact that snow leopards are very endangered and this helps me so much!

    • profile image

      september 5 months ago

      I love snow leopards but I cannot belive how little there are left!

    • profile image

      Doryan 5 months ago

      So cute

    • profile image

      person 5 months ago

      This is very useful for a school project.

    • profile image

      Alice 5 months ago

      Not helpful at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Nathan 5 months ago

      They are beautiful and I hope they don't get extinct. I also loved the facts.

    • profile image

      The RevRob 5 months ago

      China should start a Breeding Program in Order to Help Restore the Snow Leopard to the Wilderness!

    • profile image

      Azhar Khan 6 months ago

      thanks. i was researching about snow leopards at school but did not find any facts

    • profile image

      ColeDoser52 6 months ago

      Thumbs up good article (my previous chat isn't showing up and wasn't anti social)

    • profile image

      ColeDoser52 6 months ago

      I'm not against hunting if it's legal, but snow leopards are 1. Endangered 2. Illegal in the 12 countries they live in 3. Awesome (not a valid reason, but I still like 'em.) They are hunted for medicine sometimes, this might be helpful to poor Asian's because they can sell a pelt for $6k and get a lot of money but it still is illegal. And it's their fault when they go 30k broke for being caught. Instead of raising money for zoo's and stuff, focus on Snow Leopard proofing farms and raising money for medicine. I hope camera traps (activated by motion) may catch and eventually deter poachers from snow leopards. TEAM SNOW LEOPARD #101awesome

      (Another good place for info is WWF [World Wildlife Fund])

    • profile image

      Asher 6 months ago

      The Snow Leopard is a beautiful animal. I think that people should try to save the Snow Leopard.

    • profile image

      enflammablenikefron@#$ 6 months ago

      This website gives useful information that is valid and informing thanks

    • profile image

      Leopard ❤️ 6 months ago

      They r so cute I love their fur

    • profile image

      furby 6 months ago

      it is very helpful

    • profile image

      Bri 6 months ago

      The scientific name is panthera uncia

    • profile image

      Halle 6 months ago

      I'm doing a class report on snow leopards. i hope someday they don't become extinct.

    • profile image

      Bibas chhetri 6 months ago

      thank you for great information and snow leopards are so beautiful animals thanks.

    • profile image

      univerce 6 months ago

      I love how they use their hunting instincts to catch prey.

    • profile image

      john 6 months ago

      good job

    • profile image

      ricky bobby 6 months ago

      great page. snow leapords rule. saw some one time at sydney zoo. just wanted to point out though that the babies open their eyes after 7 days not 7 years old.

    • profile image

      lolo 6 months ago

      this is rad

    • profile image

      hanna 6 months ago

      cool and cute

    • profile image

      RetroWolf21 7 months ago

      Some of this info is wrong.....like you mixed up the hight and the lenght.... And the cubs open their eyes after 7 weeks not years...There are more mistakes and I hope to fix it because some people like me need info for presentation for school and wrong info could cost us a grade....

      Good day, Ela

    • profile image

      nicole 7 months ago

      im hoping that Q 43. means 7 weeks, not 7 years.

    • profile image

      jenna 7 months ago

      create used this for research :-)

    • profile image

      Gidion 7 months ago

      Snow lepards are so so so so so so so so so cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      Alex 7 months ago

      I love snow lepards

    • profile image

      Angel samsung 7 months ago

      I ❤️ snow leopards

    • profile image

      Jelly 8 months ago

      People kill them to much

    • profile image

      Qyiara Davis 8 months ago

      Hey Snow Leopards Are Beautiful !!! Juss Like @ me

    • profile image

      Reece Meenan 8 months ago

      very good website for projects thanks for help

    • profile image

      Snow Leopard1311 8 months ago

      Some of these facts are fake!

    • profile image

      keidren 8 months ago

      did you put the ads on this!!!!

    • profile image

      snow leopards rule 8 months ago

      cute and cool vote up

    • profile image

      Ayden.weddington 8 months ago

      i love snow leopard

    • profile image

      keidren 8 months ago

      snow leopards are amazing creatrues thank you for the 55 information vote up

    • profile image

      Rosie 8 months ago

      Thank you guys so much this helped me with my education and school it also helped me with my sip I had to do for school so thank you very much

    • profile image

      keidren 8 months ago

      snow leopards are almost rare

    • profile image

      kel 8 months ago

      I love snow leopards they are lovely and i am sad if all of them die and i will blam people if they all die i will be soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sad

    • profile image

      Jill 8 months ago

      I think you have a typo: 43. The cubs do not open their eyes until they are 7 years old. Did you mean seven days? :)

    • profile image

      Cat  8 months ago

      Doing research this was very helpfully awesome

    • profile image

      moises mendoza 8 months ago

      i like snow leopards there awsome.

    • profile image

      Thanks 8 months ago

      Thank you for helping me on my animal project I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who loves and adores these animals

    • profile image

      Gabbie 9 months ago

      so cool

    • profile image

      poo 9 months ago

      thank you for the facts

    • profile image

      jemma lie 9 months ago

      i love the snow leopard i am 12 years old and i love just spreading awerness about the snow leopards and doing easays about them and reaserching about them i was 8 when i first learnt about the snow leopards and i thought they were amazing i wanted to adopt one so bad and now i reaserch about them all the time and i made my friends adopt one each and they made their big brothers and/or sisters and their parents adopt one each and for my 12th birthday i got to adopt one.

      ps. sorry for my spellings i have never been good at spellings

    • profile image

      Teri 9 months ago

      #13 and #43 are drastically incorrect. They're approximately 2 feet tall at the shoulders, not 2 meters. And cubs open their eyes at 7 days not 7 years.

    • profile image

      Me 9 months ago

      This really helped me with some homework on snow leopards.

    • profile image

      Hi 10 months ago

      Poor cubs, open their eyes at seven years, but on their own at two. Great post, I'll definitely use this for a project.

    • profile image

      conner 10 months ago

      this is more intresting than i thought

    • profile image

      ddd 10 months ago

      awesome

    • profile image

      Jjjijjjk 10 months ago

      I like it is awesome

    • profile image

      jimmy 12 months ago

      these are beautiful creatures and awesome article!

    • profile image

      RangaTempest 16 months ago

      "43. The cubs do not open their eyes until they are 7 years old."

      is this perhaps months?

    • mtariqsattar profile image

      Tariq Sattar 22 months ago from Karachi

      I loved reading this finely written hub, as it contained so much vital information about snow leopard. I also happen to have written a hub about this superbly beautiful but endangered specie. Regards.

    • profile image

      reader 2 years ago

      Cubs open eyes after 7-9 days

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great hub with lots of interesting facts about snow leopards. Voted up!

    • profile image

      mai 2 years ago

      really good facts for kids

    • profile image

      steven 2 years ago

      cool facts