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Snow leopards caught on camera
Saturday January 28, 2012 - Email this article to a friend

The animals have been filmed in Tajikstan in Central Asia. They show a family including young cubs. 11 remote cameras were at work until the snow leopard cubs stole one of them.

Five separate snow leopards, including a mother with two cubs, were filmed by scientists from Fauna & Flora International and Panthera in the Zorkul nature reserve.

The cubs caused particular excitement as they show reproduction is taking place successfully.

"The highlight was confirming the presence of what seems to be a healthy population of breeding snow leopards," said the lead scientist, David Mallon.

The cameras were working over a period of three months.

The animals were put on the endangered list in the 1980's and it is estimated there are 4,000 to 6,500 snow leopards left in the wild. 

Endangered speciesEndangered species











Surviving in the wildSurviving in the wild











There is a comprehensive breeding programme going on in zoos across the world as we have reported on PlanetSKI in the past, including successful breeding at a zoo in Wales and last year three were born at a zoo in Hampshire.

Snow leopard habitatSnow leopard habitatThe animals live in the mountains of Central Asia and Russia.

They have evolved to be able to cope with the cold, snowy conditions with thick fur, a stocky body, wide feet and small ears.

They also have a long tail, the same size as the rest of their body, that helps with balance as they walk over snow; they also wrap it round themselves like a blanket when asleep.

They live 15-18 years and can bring down and kill an animal three times bigger than itself. 

They can leap an incredible 14m when they ambush their prey.

When the scientists in Takistan went to retrieve the cameras at the end of the study period one was missing. 

When the scientists checked one of the other cameras they saw pictures of a cub taking it.

See the video below.

The camera was never found.

Images c/o Fauna & Flora International and Panthera

For the spirit of the mountains

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