Newly released snow leopard (Panthera uncia) cubs take pause to survey their snow-covered enclosure before exploring. These fluffy cubs are experiencing their first winter, complete with soft, thick coats. One of them seems to have a bit of a cheeky expression directed our way.
Snow leopards are found in mountainous central Asia, also called "the roof of the world". They are acclimated for some of the harshest terrain and climate in the world and are extremely elusive. Sadly, snow leopards are not elusive enough to escape the hand of man. They are an endangered species and there may be as few as 3,000 left in the wild with populations decreasing. Individuals are often the victims of revenge killing after taking village livestock, poaching for their bones and skin, prey depletion and habitat loss.
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