Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

Panthera uncia
VU

IUCN status
Vulnerable
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Snow Leopard

« The snow leopard is more or less invisible until it makes a dash for its prey. »

A leopard for an eternal winter

Well-equipped for the cold!

As humans, it is hard to imagine an environment that is more unforgiving than an almost constantly snow-covered mountain, nearly 5,500 m above sea level. And yet, this environment is the perfect habitat for the snow leopard! With a range that reaches from Russia down to northern India, this big cat, sometimes called the ounce, occupies the largest mountain ranges in the world, such as the Himalayas. The snow leopard is highly adapted to the extreme weather that is prevalent in these areas. It has a thick coat and furry footpads, perfect for protecting itself from the cold and moving around in the snow.

Snow Leopard

Did you know?

Baby news! Snow leopard

The pitter patter of snow leopard paws outdoors…

“Un Œil en Coulisse” enters The Heights of China to focus its lens on two young snow leopards, Taiga and Saïan, who were born in 2015, and have since left for other zoos.

The Beauval Nature association

For the past 10 years, the Beauval Nature association has joined forces with field workers to support them in their primary mission of species conservation. Beauval works closely with numerous conservation and research programmes around the world to study and protect endangered species. This everyday action takes place in order to protect our biodiversity.

Snow Leopard

Audrey

Having arrived at the ZooParc de Beauval at just one year of age, Audrey quickly acclimatised to her new environment. 

In 2015, she became a mother for the first time when she gave birth to two adorable females. 

Who knows? Maybe she will soon be a mother again!

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard
Beauval Nature

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Vulnerable

Learn more about the species

Range
Asia
  • Diet
    Carnivore
  • Gestation period
    3½ months
  • Litter size
    1 to 5 young
  • Habitat
    Mountains
The king of the mountains
Snow leopards play a key role as both top predator and as an indicator of the health of their high-altitude habitat. If snow leopards thrive, so will countless other species.
An agile, secretive hunter
Considering that they must deal with the snow leopard and its formidable camouflage, being an herbivore in the mountain ranges of Central Asia is probably not so easy. The snow leopard is perfectly hidden amongst the rocks and is therefore more or less invisible until it makes a dash for its prey. It is extraordinarily agile and can chase its prey over steep, rugged terrain but only for a short distance. The snow leopard’s favourite prey animals are large mountain ungulates, such as ibex, wild sheep, wild donkeys, and young yaks. Depending on the season, it may also attack domestic animals when wild prey is scarce.
Rarely observed reproductive behaviour
The snow leopard is quite difficult to observe in its natural environment. Especially during the breeding season! Relatively little is known about the reproductive behaviour of this big cat. Fortunately, reproduction occurring in zoological parks has given some insight into the encounters that take place between males and females. Their preferred mating period seems to be between January and March, resulting in spring births. Most of the births in zoos occur in May. So, now you know when to come and see our snow leopards if you are hoping to see some babies!

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