Slightly smaller than an African or Asian leopard weighing between 35 and 55 Kg, snow leopards are very elusive, found in the mountains of central Asia.
These beautiful, grey creatures have thick fur to help them in the cold conditions, an exceptionally long tail which aids in balance as well as a face warmer during snow storms and have large paws which act as snow shoes. They have the distinctive leopard rosettes on their thick grey-white fur and exceptionally strong legs which allow them to leap distances up to 20 feet!
Their prey includes wild and domestic animals which can be as much as three time their own body weight. They will usually eat the blue sheep (bharal), found in Tibet and the Himalayas, as well as the more common ibex which can be found pretty much everywhere that a snow leopard can.
Snow leopards are found at high altitudes in the Himalaya Mountains of Central and South Asia.
Level of Protection
With an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 individuals found in the wild today, they have been placed on the “Red list” of threatened species as “endangered”. Snow leopards are killed by goat herders and by poachers for their prized pelts and to protect crops and domestic animals. They have only recently been seen as a tourist attraction and hopefully this will help to save this remarkable animal from extinction.
Best Time to Visit
The best time of year is winter, as this is when the cats descend from the mountains in search of prey. Please contact us for more details.
One of the best areas for spotting snow leopards is Ladakh in Northern India. Contact us for more details on these safaris.
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