Snow Leopard (Panthera Uncia) is one of the rarest specie of big cats existing in the world. It is found between 3,000 and 5,500 meters above sea level in the high and snowy mountain ranges of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
A Snow Leopard usually have long thick fur on its body and can be found in smoky grey and yellowish tan colors, with whitish under parts. There are grey to black open knots on their body with small black stains on their heads and the similar but larger spots on their legs and tail. Like other cats, eyes of Snow Leopard are greenish in color.
Snow Leopards have broad paws to administer their weight better for walking on snow, and thick fur on their undersides to increase their grip on lofty surfaces and keep their body warm in freezing temperatures.
A Snow Leopard usually gains weight of 27 and 54 kilograms and can acquire the body length ranging from 75 to 130 centimeters with the additional length of their tail which is 75 to 90 percent of that length. Snow Leopard cannot roar like their other family members and their vocalism includes hissing, chuffing, mewing, growling, and wailing.
As far as their eating habits are concerned, Snow Leopards are carnivores and hunt like all other cats. They can kill animals three times larger than their sizes. But they are considered to be tactful eaters as they can also feed themselves by hares, live stocks and birds. Another astonishing factor regarding their diet is that they can eat considerable amount of grass and twigs as well.
Mining, logging, deforestation and industrial development has created an alarming situation for the survival of this unique cat. Most of the Snow Leopards are forced to move to unsuitable areas having harsher and prey scaring atmosphere. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has placed the Snow Leopard on its Red List of Threatened Species as globally ‘Endangered’. Although many international and local agencies are working to safeguard snow leopards yet more steps must be taken to save this magnificent creature before it becomes extinct.