In Khovd province, Mongolia, a mother snow leopard, and her four cubs were recently captured on video. This rare footage reveals their close bond and shows these young cubs are already accustomed to the rough terrain. Those long tails help the cats with balance, especially as they navigate their precarious and rocky habitat, and provide warmth when wrapped around them in harsh, cold weather.
Found only in the steep mountains of Central Asia, snow leopards are notoriously elusive. This family was spotted more than 9,000 feet above sea level through camera traps were set up by WWF Mongolia to monitor snow leopard populations in the region. This marks the second time in the last several months that these cubs have been spotted in the area.
”Snow leopards’ elusive nature means there is much we don’t know about them. Such footage is so important for us to gain a better understanding of their lives, threats they face, and conservation needs," said Nilanga Jayasinghe, senior program officer focusing on Asian species conservation at WWF-US. "Not only is it delightful to see a mother and her cubs frolicking in their natural habitat, but it is also rare to see such a large litter. It’s a sign of hope – let’s wish this mother well in her efforts to raise all four cubs into adulthood.”