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Did you know?

Snow leopards use their long tail for balance and are often called ghost cats Mogo Zoo has been successful in breeding snow leopard cubs

Quick Facts

Weight: 35-55kgs

Size: length – 100-130cm, tail 80-100cm

Number of offspring: 2-3 cubs every 2nd year

Gestation: 98-104 days

Maturity: Females 2-3yrs, Males 4yrs

Lifespan: 10-13yrs

Predators: none

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Snow leopard

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Habitat

Steep cliffs and rocky slopes below the permanent snow line

Natural behavior

Primarily crepuscular and often nomadic, following the summer and winter migrations of their prey

Description

Cream coloured dense coat with smokey grey-black rosettes arranged in rows. Incredibly long, thick tail and retractable claws. Large fur bottomed feet on short well developed front legs

Distribution

The entire Himalayan mountain system; China, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, and Mongolia

Diet

Carnivorous; blue sheep, ibex, marmots, game birds, small rodents, live stock

Reproduction

Mating is polygynous and breeding is highly seasonal, occurring from January through late march where females attract males through continuous vocalistation. Vocal mating will then take place after the female presents herself. Cubs are reared in a den-like rocky shelter in which the female lines with her underbelly fur

Social structure

Solitary; although cubs will spend the first 18-22 months with mum before leaving. Females don’t associate with males out of the breeding season and actively avoid animals who share overlapping home ranges

Threats

Hunted for their pelts. Culled by farmers for poaching livestock