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Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Scientific Classification
Binomial name
Uncia uncias

The Snow Leopard or Ounce (Uncia uncia) is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of central Asia. Until recently many taxonomists included the Snow Leopard in the genus Panthera with several of the other largest felids. Weighing up to 75 kilos, it can be distinguished from other similar species by its proportionately longer tail, which helps it maintain its balance on the often steep slopes of its mountainous environment, and is used to cover its nose and mouth in very cold conditions. Its big furry feet act as snowshoes, like those of the Lynx.

Snow Leopards have gray-and-white fur and striped tails. They are opportunistic feeders, eating whatever meat they may find; they often kill animals three times their size, including domestic livestock. The Snow Leopard is an endangered species whose pelts command a very high price in the fur market.

Snow Leopards are successfully being bred in captivity.