A snow leopard is a large cat that is native to the mountain areas of Central and South Asia. These wild cats can be spotted sporadically in the alpine and subalpine zones of China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, and Mongolia, at heights between 3000 to 4500m.
In size, snow leopards are slightly smaller than others of its family. They have stocky bodies with thick fur and small, rounded ears, all of which together, help the animal to minimize heat loss.
Although the animals are agile and powerfully built, their population is in great danger. The main reasons for such falling numbers are hunting, habitat loss, and retaliatory killings. With the reduction in the number of its prey like the Argali sheep, ibex, and hares, these leopards are forced to hunt domestic animals in its nearby areas.
As a result, locals kill them in retaliation. The leopards are also poached for their skin for making fur coats.
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