This is a male snow leopard having fun in the snow. It is from the same series as an image that I have posted here before.
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There are believed to be between 3,500 and 7,000 Snow Leopards living in the wild today; the exact
number is unknown as they are extremely elusive and challenging to survey. One of the main reasons for this is that Snow leopards inhabit extreme landscapes approximately 3,000 – 5,400 meters above sea level.
Unfortunately the capture and killing of these magnificent cats is still the biggest threat to the Snow Leopards survival.
Their fur is very sought after as a sign of opulence and wealth.... Snow leopard body parts can also sell for thousands of US dollars.
As mentioned, their distinctive fur is highly coveted, as are their
bones, for traditional Asian medicine.Snow leopards are also hunted due to conflict with herders who live in fear of losing livestock.
They are, without question, one of the most amazing and beautiful cats on the planet.