40 Interesting & Fun Facts about Snow Leopards

There are many types of Leopards available globally: Sri Lankan Leopards, Amur Leopards, Central Asian Leopards, Barbary Leopard, Sinai Leopard, etc. But have you ever heard of Snow Leopards?

Big cats like snow leopards are renowned as one of the exalted and fugitive animals in the world. Though it looks like a leopard, it is not honestly a leopard. It is one of the finest unique creatures on the planet.

In this write-up, we will discuss some interesting facts about Snow Leopards —just read on!

40 Interesting Facts about Snow Leopards

No#1: Similar to Tigers

Though Snow Leopards are described as leopards, scientists have found they have similar genes to tigers.

No#2: Scientific name

The scientific name of Snow Leopards is “Panthera uncial,” but its name was “Uncia uncia” earlier. The last scientific name used to describe the European Lynx.

No#3: Only 3 Snow Leopard subspecies

Until now, only 3 Snow Leopard subspecies are discovered: P. u. uncioides,P. u. irbis. and P. u. uncia. However, there were only one subspecies before 2018.

No#4: No roar sound

Like other large Panthera, Snow Leopards can’t make any roaring sound. Rather, they make different types of mew, chuff, hiss, and growl sounds.

No#5: They are mammals

Snow Leopards are mammals like other cats, and they are categorized in the Panthera genus family by Lorenz Oken with four other cats.

No#6: How big is a Snow Leopard?

The weight of a Snow Leopard ranges between 60 to 120 pounds. It can be up 5 feet long and 2 feet tall.

No#7: Female Snow Leopards are a little bit shorter

The size of female Snow Leopards is around two-thirds of males.

No#8: High adaptability to stay in cold weather

Snow Leopards have elevated and thick fur, allowing their body to adapt to frigid habitats quickly. Plus, due to their rounded ears and short legs, they can hold their body heat for a prolonged time.

No#9: Remarkably thick fur

Snow Leopards have remarkably up to 5 inches thick fur. Their huge paws are covered by this fur, helping them to move, walk and run smoothly in the snow.

No#10: A blue sheep is enough for one-week food

Snow Leopards, living in Nepal, often hunt blue sheep. One blue sheep will be enough food for a Snow Leopard to pass the whole week.

No#11: Coating color of Snow Leopards

Snow Leopards have matched coating color to adjust their body to the frigid environment. With black rosettes and a white-grey coat, it makes an enchanting camouflage pattern.

No#12: Exceptionally long tail

Unlike other cats, Snow Leopards have an uncommonly long tail —around 3 feet. The long tail helps it to cover sensitive areas to feel warm in icy environments. More importantly, it is one of the primary body parts where a lot of fat automatically stored to support their body when they face difficulty to find food,

No#13: They live in high alpine areas

Snow Leopards can be primarily seen in high mountainous zones, especially in the Himalayas. Most habitats are above the tree line and located up to 18,000 feet in height from the ground.

No#14: They live in different locations

As they are used to live in winter conditions, whenever summer season comes, they move to upwards location, between 10,000 and 20,000 feet. However, they migrate up to 4000 feet down during the winter season.

No#15: Only live in Asia

A proud moment for Asian people is that Snow Leopards are only available in Asia. They can be found in 12 Asian countries but, more than 50% live in only China.

No#16: Snow Leopard range

An individual Snow Leopard range covers around 1036 square kilometers. Jointly, the ranges of all Snow Leopards can be approximately 1950000 square kilometers.

No#17: Active session

Snow Leopards are mainly active during low-light conditions as they are crepuscular. They always look for opportunities to hunt, no matter whatever prey is available.

No#18: Distance walk in one night

It takes a Snow Leopard just one night to go 25 miles, nearly a marathon race.

No#19: Difficult to recognize

Unlike tigers, leopards, and jaguars, Snow Leopards are not easily recognizable because they can change their body shape and movement if they want.

No#20: Good at long jumping

Snow Leopards are long jump champions; they can jump up to 9 meters long —6 times their body length

No#21: Humans are the biggest threat for Snow Leopards

Humans are directly or indirectly posing a threat to the existence of Snow Leopards through their activities. Habitat loss, unfavorable climate conditions, lack of prey, and conflict between wildlife & humans are the primary threats.

No#22: Hunting items

Snow Leopards eat a wide array of creatures based on their availability. Mostly, they prefer to eat large plant-eater animals like Ibexes, Mountain Sheep, and Goats. They can consume so much food, up to three times more than their body weight.

No#22: They prefer to hunt alone

Snow Leopards prefer to hunt alone but, they often hunt in a group, especially during mating season. 

No#24: A powerful hunter

Escaping from a Snow Leopard is not an easy job as they can jump over 20 feet high and 50 feet long.

No#25: Only one or two hunts every week

As Snow Leopards are slow eaters, they hunt one or two big animals per week. However, if big animals are unavailable, they will eat small animals as per their eating requirements.

No#26: Not much aggressive

Though Snow Leopards are powerful hunters, they don’t act aggressively, unlike other big cats. They may give up a meal if they face any difficulty from other predators.

No#27: They live mostly alone

Except for the mating season, Snow Leopards don’t meet live with each other. However, adult females live with their children for up to 2 years.

No#28: Mating season

Male Snow Leopards mate with female Snow Leopards from January to March —during this period, they live and hunt together.

No#29: Gestation period 

After passing the 3 to 4 months gestation period, female Snow Leopards give birth to 1 to 5 cubs. However, most of the time, they give birth to two cubs.

No#30: Baby Snow Leopards

Baby Snow Leopards take around five weeks to walk and two months to eat solid food. After passing three months, they start to learn different essential life skills from their mothers.

No#31: Adulthood

Female Snow Leopards can become a mother after passing three years, while male Snow Leopards reach sexual maturity after four years.

No#32: Life expectancy

Most wild Snow Leopards live ten years on average; it is pretty uncommon to see them living 15 years.

No#33: Population of Snow Leopards

There are around 4,080 to 6,590 Snow Leopards currently living in the world.

No#34: Not endangered but vulnerable

Fortunately, Snow Leopards are not endangered animals, but they are vulnerable to different human activities.

No#35: Unique behavior  

Snow Leopards often spray urine or scratch themselves on rocks to spot their habitat and travel routes.

No#36: Unusual hunting

If there is an unavailability of wild prey, they may try to eat farm animals.

No#37: Shifting to a safe area

Prior to delivering babies, Snow Leopards will shift to a fully-covered rock crevice to protect themselves from other wildlife, and they don’t to be alert all the time.

No#38: National and international agencies

Many national and international agencies existed to protect the wildlife of Snow Leopards and ensure they live peacefully in their habitats.

No#39: They have bright blue eyes

Unlike other big cats, Snow Leopards have bright blue eyes that help them to adapt to the environment easily.

No#40: They don’t attack humans

Since most Snow Leopards live in high mounted areas, they merely contact humans. Till now, there are only two cases of Snow Leopards attacking humans. Both of them happened near cities, and one of them got heavily injured.

Conclusion

Central Asia is a famous region to catch sight of the endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) —well known for its beautiful fur and elusiveness. The snow leopard’s adaptations to a harsh, barren landscape have made them remarkably successful in surviving, but human activity threatens the animals’ survival for the future. Hopefully, you have already discovered little-known yet interesting facts about Snow Leopards. Thank for reading!

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