Snow Leopards (Zoo Kids)

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Snow Leopards in the Wild

These types of snow leopards can stand at a length of 60 cm 24 inches. Snow leopards have unique characteristics of adapting with its environmental changes in that they have thick furs, together with small ears that reduce the loss of heat. Unlike other cats, these leopards have wide paws that help them in walking on snow. Schreber was the first one to pronounce snow leopard back in when he found it in the mountains of Iran and Turkmenistan.

While going through the snow leopard facts for kids we come to know that these wild animals have long been recognised as a member of genus Panthera.

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In summer, these types of leopards usually inhabit on the rocky and mountainous regions with an elevation of about 2, to 6, m 8, to 20, feet. However, when the winter arrives, snow leopards return down to their low altitude habitats of about 1, to 2, m 3, — 6, feet. One of the interesting facts about snow leopards is that they travel effortlessly on a 85 cm 33 inches deep snow which no other cats can. Most of the times these leopards follow already-made trail and are not apt to make their new one. The study of endangered snow leopard facts show that these animals have turned out to be extinct due to various reasons; hunting is one of them.

Because of their unsociable nature, they are not found easily even at a place where they should be. The cat is almost entirely solitary.

L.A. Zoo Introduces Endangered Snow Leopard Cubs

Females are known to occupy territories of 10 — 30 sq. Males have larger territories.

About the Snow Leopard

They mark their territories either by urinating on branches, tree-trunks, and logs, or simply by fighting. The number of leopards is continuously declining primarily due to hunting since they serve as an important function for decorating affluent women.

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In some areas, however, they are killed because of their attacks on domestic livestock. On the positive side, they will continue to exist in areas where humans are considerably lower in numbers. Still there are more than , leopards left. Snow leopards usually dwell within a limited range. Not many people are aware of snow leoard facts about its behavior. How much square kilometers they cover depends on the extent to which prey is available.

Snow leopard facts for kids

For example in Nepal, these types of leopards cover only 12 sq. On the contrary, where the prey is not abundant, they had to cover almost 1, sq. One of the common snow leopard facts is that they make use of scent marks to figure out their territory or routes. Snow leopards are best known for their surprise attacks which they usually do at dawn or dusk. Like all wild animals, these are also carnivorous and they are the active hunters. Snow leopards prefer to ambush prey from above, using broken terrain to conceal their approach.

Zoo Zürich’s Snow Leopard twins: Orya and Okara

They try and land on the sheep, and kill it directly. They kill with a bite to the neck, and may drag the prey to a safe location before feeding. They consume all edible parts of the carcass, and can survive on a single bharal for two weeks before hunting again. Annual prey needs is 20—30 adult sheep bharal. Snow leopards eat almost anything they can catch, often hunting animals three times their size. Their main sources of food include wild sheep and goats, pikas, hares, and game birds. In the summer, they eat mostly smaller prey, such as marmots. At other times their prey includes wild boars, gazelles, markhor, bobak, tahr, ibex, bharal, mice, and deer.

They stalk their prey and usually begin their attack when they are 20 to 50 feet m away. The snow leopard's broad paws act as snow shoes and give them traction as they chase their prey across stone, snow, and icy surfaces. They are at their best when they can run across the hard, icy crusts that form above banks of deep snow while their prey breaks through the crust, getting mired in the soft, underlying snow.

Snow leopards live in the high mountains of China and Central Asia, particularly throughout the Himalayas. They typically have a hunting range or territory of square miles square km , because very few prey animals live in the harsh, mountain habitat that is home to the snow leopard. Snow leopards become mature at two to three years, and normally live for 15—18 years in the wild. In captivity they can live for up to 25 years. Females have a gestation period of 90— days, so the cubs are born between April and June.

Snow Leopard | Stone Zoo

The mother gives birth in a rocky den or crevice lined with fur shed from her underside. They keep mainly to cliffs and rocky slopes, below the permanent snow line. Snow leopards have a relatively small head with a short, broad nose that has a large nasal cavity that passes cold air through and warms it. Their huge paws have fur on the bottom that protects and cushions their feet for walking, climbing, and jumping.

The wide, furry paws also give the cat great traction on snow.

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  6. Short, well-developed front legs and chest muscles help with balance when climbing. The snow leopard's incredibly long, thick, and beautiful tail also helps with balance and is sometimes as long as the cat's body! Most active at dawn and dusk, snow leopards are powerful predators capable of killing prey two to three times their own weight. Recent radio-tracking data shows they bring down prey every 10 to 15 days. Problems arise in the winter, when marmots are hibernating and snow leopards turn to livestock for food.

    This brings them into conflict with herders and farmers. And as marmots are hunted for their pelts and meat or killed as pests by farmers, snow leopards must hunt livestock more often.

    About the Snow Leopard

    At the San Diego Zoo, our snow leopards are fed a ground meat product made for zoo carnivores most days, large bones two times per week, and a thawed rabbit once a week. Living in such rocky terrain, it isn't easy for snow leopards to find one another. Even cheek rubbing can spread scent, so all of these smell "advertisements" can remain for days and weeks to mark off ranges. Like other larger cats, snow leopards hiss, growl, moan, and yowl, but they do not roar, as their throat is similar to that of the smaller cats; instead, snow leopards make a friendly chuff and can purr, too.

    When breeding season arrives, January through late March, snow leopards send vocal messages to pair up. After breeding, the male goes off, and the female is responsible for finding a safe place to have and rear her cubs, most likely a nest among the rocks only recently, through the use of GPS technology, has a den with cubs been located.

    Usually two or three cubs are born to a litter in June or July.

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