7 Essential Facts About Snow Leopard Cubs
Curious about Cubs? With cub season coming up, here are 7 things you need to know about snow leopard babies!
A lot of snow leopards share a birthday: From what we can tell so far, snow leopard mating season is in winter and early spring; and almost all wild cubs are born in June or July, turning the mountains of Central Asia into a nursery each summer.
- Like kittens, snow leopard cubs are small and helpless at birth – they do not open their eyes until they are about 7 days old.
For about two or three months, newborn cubs will remain in their well-protected den site, shielded away from predators. Their mother will stays close during that time, frequently returning to the den to nurse the cubs.
- A baby snow leopard will start eating solid food at around 2 months old. Most likely, its first taste of anything other than milk will be rare ibex, or blue sheep that mom has brought home from a hunting trip.
When the little cubs are around 3 months old, they start following their mother as she ventures further and further away from the den site to go about her business of hunting for food. Step by step, they learn all the skills it takes to live on their own in their harsh, mountainous home range.
Young cats disperse from their mother and set out on their own when they’re 19 to 24 months old. Usually, female snow leopards will only have their next litter once the cubs have dispersed.
- Female snow leopards will be ready to have cubs of their own when they are two or three years old – so soon after they leave their family behind, they’ll start their own.