Among the most rugged and mountaineer areas of Asia and the Himalayas lives a large cat who traverses them with no problems or difficulties.
He can pad silently across the snow with minimal problem at all except one. Man.
Hunted for its marvelous pelts for the fur trade, illegal wildlife traders and the loss of its habitat range the Snow Leopard are now endangered.
In the last ten years it has seen an increasingly dramatic decline in its numbers and it seems that they remain only in a few countries now in Asia.
The snow leopard is famous for its incredible fur, which is soft and gray with rings and spots that are either dark brown or black.
The fur whitens in winter time.
The tail of the snow leopard is heavy and the bottom of its padded paws is also covered in fur.
Snow Leopards eat meat almost exclusively, and will sometimes kill an animal three times as large as they. They ambush their prey from above it because they can jump an incredible 40 feet when seeking a meal.
Snow Leopards will eat Ibex, boars and other small animals including rodents.
Under normal conditions this massive cat will live about 15 years, in captivity about twenty. Their lifespan in the wild lately is a great deal less than the normal.
There are currently about only 3500 left in the world, although some estimates put that at as many as 7000. Still their numbers are not great and they continue to dwindle due to mans intervention.
Snow Leopard Image Gallery