Snow leopard
(Uncia uncia)
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The Snow leopard is a very rare & shy animal.  Their native range includes Tibet, Mongolia China & the upper Himalayas.  At Oakhill Center we care for a number of Snow leopards in our own veterinary clinic.  They usually breed in the autumn or winter for spring or summer births.  These animals are solitary & usually are only seen together when breeding or raising young.  The male does not help with the rearing.  Young will remain with their mother for about 2 1/2 years before striking of on their own.  Snow leopards reach sexual maturity at about 3 years of age although some females have been known to breed at 2.  Gestation is about 3 1/2 months & litter size ranges from 1-5 although the normal size is 2-3.  Snow leopards are very adept at jumping & use their long tale to balance as they jump from rocks high in the mountains.  The paw of a snow leopard has hair between the pads which assist in keeping their feet warm in the winter.  Little is known about their range in nature due to the inhospitable terrain they call home.  This may be what ultimately saves them!  The International Snow leopard Trust supports a number of research & field projects in range countries.

Snow leopards can live to be 20+ years old although females are usually reproductive only until about 11 years & males until about 14 years of age.


 

As a youngster.