One of our donor-funded remote-sensor research cameras in Mongolia’s Tost mountains has captured stunning, rare footage of a snow leopard mother with three small cubs.
The footage was taken last October, and the cubs appear to have been about 5-6 months old at the time. Their mother is a cat we know well – Anu. Through research cameras and GPS tracking, we’ve been able to follow her adventures since 2010, when she was a cub herself. In 2012, she gave birth to a cub for the first time – and our team was able to track her to her den site and film her and the little one.
Now, it appears that Anu has had cubs again – and she was kind enough to present her three babies in front of one of our cameras.
She’ll care for them for about 18 months, teaching them all they need to know to be able to survive on their own once they disperse.
During this time, the cubs will need a lot of food – it takes about 40 prey animals every year for a snow leopard mom to feed herself and her cubs. We know these cats prefer wild prey over domestic livestock, but they’ll take what they can get.
For us, this means we need to work harder than ever to secure abundant wild prey, so that snow leopard moms don’t come into conflict with herders over livestock losses— one of the biggest threats to snow leopards across their range.
The wild cubs are not only immensely cute, they’re also a powerful sign of hope for this endangered cat! If you would like to help snow leopard mothers like Anu raise their cubs safely, please consider making a symbolic snow leopard adoption.
Your gift will be used to fund research and conservation programs that allow us determine the cats’ most pressing needs and help reduce conflicts between the cats and the people who live alongside them.