Meet Khashaa

Name: Khashaa (Jade)
Sex: Female
Family: Khashaa is Aylagch's mother


For a long time, our research team had been intrigued by photos of a cat they had dubbed "Superman" because of its unusual, S-shaped spot pattern. Since it appeared that Tsagaan, one of our collared male cats, was avoiding the area just north of his home range, where the mysterious "Superman" had been spotted on camera, we thought he was a rival male.

Then one summer’s day in 2009, for the first time during our study, our cameras captured a mother snow leopard with three cubs - an unusually large litter for a wild snow leopard!  Then, as we compared photographs, we saw Superman’s telltale “S” shape and learned that Superman was actually a Supermom!

In the fall of 2010, our team was back in the South Gobi to try and collar new snow leopards for our study. They set up camp on near the home of a local herder named Ganaa. To Ganaa, snow leopard had always primarily been predators; a threat to his livestock. But as he talked to the scientists in his neighborhood, he became curious and wanted to learn more about these mysterious cats. So when collaring expert Orjan Johansson managed to capture a young, unknown female snow leopard one night in September, he invited Ganaa to come along and help fit this cat with a GPS collar. As they approached the cat, they saw that it was Supermom!

As per our tradition, all the snow leopards we follow are given a name. So Supermom was in for yet another identity change! After releasing the cat back into the wild, our team decided to give herder Ganaa the honor of choosing a name for her.  Ganaa suggested “Khashaa” – his daughter’s name.  In sharing the name of his only daughter, Ganaa formed a bond between his family and this rare cat, and a commitment to keep her safe.

In early 2011, we saw Khashaa spend time - and share a meal - with Tsagaan, a male cat who was also part of our study. It certainly appeared as if love was in the cold air of Tost, but, as Khashaa must have had at least one cub (Aylagch, formerly known as M9) at this time, it's unlikely that their courtship  led to any offspring. Sadly, Tsagaan was found dead only a few months later.


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GPS collar fitted on 14 September 2010
Gave birth to cub(s) in June 2008
Gave birth to cub(s) in June 2010

Blog posts about Khashaa:
M9 Is All Grown UpSnow Leopards Welcome Spring in MongoliaKhashaa’s Cub Joins Our Research Study!Aztai and Khashaa Get New Collars!Two Lost Collars Have Been Found!