Snow Leopard

Panthera Uncia

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Quick Facts
Height: 23.5 inches at shoulder
Weight: 55 to 165 pounds
Distribution: Afghanistan to Lake Baikal and eastern Tibet, sparsely distributed through an extensive range
Habitat: High mountains at extreme elevations; they are commonly found between 10,000 and 16,000 feet in alpine and subalpine habitats, at the lower elevations in winter; also found in steppe habitats at lower elevations
Wild Diet: Mountain goats and sheep, especially blue sheep, musk deer, ibex, marmots, pikas, and sometimes domestic livestock
Zoo Diet: Nebraska feline and canine diet, plus chunk horse meat, liver, or shank bone as treats

Snow leopards' long, thick fur is soft gray or cream in color, and they have a white belly. Their head, neck, and lower limbs are marked with solid black or dark brown spots, and their body fur is covered with medium brown blotches ringed with black or dark brown. Their outer ear and back are streaked with black. Their winter coat is lighter in color. They have a long tail and small head, and their paws are covered with a cushion of hair that increases its surface area and acts like insulating snow shoes.

Status in the Wild

Listed as "vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).

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