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Snow Leopard

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Uncia uncia, commonly known as the Snow Leopard or Ounce, is a native of the mountain ranges of central Asia. Until recently many taxonomists included this cat in the genus Panthera with the other large cats. Weighing up to 75 kg, it can be distinguished from other large cats by its proportionately longer tail, which helps it maintain its balance on the often steep slopes of its mountainous environment, and 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.



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