Mountainous regions of Central Asia, including Russia, China, Mongolia, Nepal, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan
Steep, rugged terrain at high elevations
Wild: Blue sheep, marmots, ibex, musk deer, pika, markhor, hare, birds, and vegetation
Zoo: Canine diet; weekly, bones & meat/rabbit/chicken
90 to 103 days
Head and body length 39.25 to 51.25 inches; tail length 31.5 to 39.25 inches; weight 55 to 165 lbs., with most weighing under 110 lbs. Snow leopards have gray-green eyes and long, thick fur, pale gray to olive in coloration, and patterned with large dark rosettes and spots.The coat has a woolly-like undercoat. They are slightly smaller than the common spotted leopard. The tail, nearly as long as the body, is important for maintaining balance. The large paws act as snow shoes. The strong claws and large pads separated by hairy zones enable them to walk with ease on rugged mountainous terrain without sinking into the snow.Snow leopards are solitary cats, though not unsocial. They exhibit a distinct preference for traveling along major ridges, river bluffs or cliffs, and other well-defined landscape “edges”. These crepuscular cats like to rest in places with good vistas, such as cliff ledges. These agile cats have been observed to jump 45 feet in a single leap. Snow leopards are highly endangered in the wild. They are being bred in captivity under the guidance of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) developed by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA).
The largest and oldest organization working solely to protect the endangered snow leopard is the Snow Leopard Trust.
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the Cat Exhibits at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.