A Tiny Cub Has Grown

Great news from Mongolia: a tiny cub our team encountered last year has grown into a handsome young adult! We were able to identify the cub in a recent research camera photo, accompanied by its mother, Dagina.
Dagina's cub
Dagina’s cub in 2012

One of the goals of our long-term study in the South Gobi is to be able to observe snow leopards over several generations and to gain insights into reproduction and survival rates. Meeting this cub again after a long winter is a sign of hope for the region’s snow leopards. What makes this encounter particularly exciting is the fact that this young cat represents the third generation of snow leopards we’ve been able to study in Mongolia! Its mother, Dagina, is the daughter of Agnes, one of the female cats we’ve been tracking with GPS collars. While Dagina has been successfully raising her offspring, Grandma Agnes gave birth to another cub herself this spring – so the family keeps growing! Dagina’s cub hasn’t been officially named yet (we only name the cats we manage to collar), but we’ll come up with a nickname to refer to it by in the meantime!

Dagina's cub, 2013
Dagina’s cub, 2013
Dagina and her cub
Dagina (background) and her cub


  1. Woww this is awwesome and soo cute. I wish we can raise snow leopard population n protect the area from poachers. Every animal has the right to a dignified life xxx lov em all . I want to adopt this cub n fund him so he cn start his own life in the wild fir nwct 50 years!! xxx

  2. The work you do is so vital to saving a lesser known species. I know that research requires going into their areas to follow them and gain insight and knowledge, and you are far more brave than I am. My fastination with them began the first time I saw a photo. Their faces make them appear to be wise old souls. Before that, I only saw them in zoos. That was before I knew about conversation of any wild animals. I was at the Cincinnati zoo and a lone snow leopard began making a sound unlike any other I had ever heard. I mimiced the sound, and I got the attention of that cat. He answered back. My hope was that I didn’t create a sressfull situation for the cat. I, on the other hand, was amazed and exuberant. My first sponsorship was immediately done that day. I wish I could sponsor another but I became disabled and I have limited funds. I love being able to go to Big Cat Rescue, where I am rewarded with seeing so many big and lesser cats, all rescued or “left on their .doorstep”. It was fortunate trip for me. I was able to safely feed Shere Kahn some of his dinner. It was an experience no words can describe. We were also able to go into a couple of cat-a-rats with a Caracal ( Rosie ) and a bobcat ( Little feather )for up-close unabstructed photos ( we could not touch ). The powers that be stopped allowing get that close. And, the cats have less stress. I would move down there just to be able to see and hear them every day. They have a couple of snow leopards, one of which was a little neurotic, but just as prescious as all the others. I hope my post isn’t too lengthy, but my cats are my babies in my eyes. Thank you for sharing all the information and all the photos. Happy Holidays!

  3. I love the little ones-but please , refer to them as “he” or “she” , even if you do not know their sex. “it” is a coldly impersonal word. they are not an “it”. I know you meant no harm, just a bit of enlightenment.

  4. I agree with Chris…a simple “s/he” would suffice… It’s truly heartwarming to read that SLT’s hard work is making such a big difference. I don’t think that I’m alone, though, in disliking those bulky radio collars. Surely in this day & age of microtransmitters we can kiss those nasty things good-bye? I think I remember reading something about this in one of SLT’s newsletters from months past… Any progress on that front? Keep up the good work… All of you, and all pantheras worldwide, are in our hearts, especially at this time of the year… Stay safe.

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