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  • Young snow leopards at Zurich Zoo.

    Snow Leopard

    panthera uncia

    As the prey density is low in the extreme regions of the high mountains, it is estimated that the foraging areas of snow leopards are up to 1000 square kilometres in size. This makes them (as well as Sibirian Tigers) the record holder of all cats in this respect. Their uniqueness is also confirmed by the fact that they can jump up to 16 m and that they have the thickest and longest fur of all cats.
    Snow leopards are also different in further aspects from other big cats. They have a relatively short snout and a very long tail. The larynx of the snow leopard is only suitable for purring, but not for roaring. Snow leopards consume their prey crouching, just as small cats do. Tigers and lions, on the other hand, usually lie in front of the prey and hold it with their paws.

    Related to Carnivores, cats, snow leopard (possibly 2 sub-species)
    Habitat High mountains and rocky high steppes up to 6000 meters above sea level
    Mode of life Mostly crepuscular and nocturnal, territorial
    Social structure Solitary, females with young
    Diet Meat (blue sheep, ibex, marmots, hares, birds, domestic animals)
    Weight Females up to 40 kg, males up to 55 kg, newborns up to 570 g
    Head-torso length up to 130 cm
    Shoulder height 60 cm
    Tail length up to 100 cm
    Gestation time 105 - 110 days
    Litter size 1 to 3 young, rarely up to 5
    Age of sexual maturity 3 years
    Life expectancy 20 years
    Utilization Fur, bones for Chinese Medicine
    Population trend About 7000 animals in the wild, of which 2000 animals in China and Tibet, 1000 animals in Mongolia, about 400 animals in Kyrgyzstan. About 200 animals in European zoos.
    At Zurich Zoo since 1929, total 59 kittens, internationally coordinated breeding (EEP)


    Verbreitungskarte Schneeleopard

    Snow Leopards (Youtube Playlist)


    WARJUN O. Vögele, Bülach
    WAJRA parkon GmbH, Winterthur
    SHAHRUKH Tiergarten-Gesellschaft Zürich
    SHAHRUKH M. Stöcklin, Meilen
    SAIDA R. + M. Larsson, Zug
    SAIDA J. Fitzi, Elsau



    Conservation status

    IUCN RedList

    Breeding programme