The Snow Leopard
All about the snow leopard and its life, where they are from and how they live, when they mate and what they eat.
A snow leopard is considered by many to be the most beautiful cat, and it has a very soft, thick, gray, or yellow gray, coat with large black rosettes. It stands 2 feet tall and weighs 80-200 pounds for males and 60-120 for females, and are 39-51 inches from nose to tail.
The snow leopard is a mountain dweller, and lives in forested sections at the edge of the snow line, or bare rocks, cliffs, and crags. It is found between 6,000 and 20,000 feet in altitude.
Snow leopards are solitary cats except in mating season, which is December through March.The females bear 2-4 young every other year beginning at the age of three. The gestation period is 90-100 days, and the young leave the mother at the age of 18-22 months.
The leopard's tail is thickly furred, and 31-39 inches in length. They can leap up to 30 feet, and take prey up to 3 times their size.
They can be found in twelve countries in Central Asia, and they are: Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Ajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
The leopard can prey on most mountain species except for the fully grown yak or wild ass. However, blue sheep and ibex are the main prey along with marmots, livestock, and
occasional game birds, or small rodents. They are also known to feed on argali, Himalayan tahr, markhor, and other wild goats or sheep, as well as some deer, wild boar, and domestic livestock.