IUCN Status: Endangered
We are home to two snow leopards at Howletts, named Ziva and Nuri. In 2016 the pair moved into their brand new spacious enclosure near the Pavilion Restaurant, which is filled with rocks and natural foliage. Keepers hope that it won’t be long before we can celebrate the arrival of cubs.
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Found in the high mountains of central Asia, the snow leopard, with its pale coat and dark blotches, is perfectly camouflaged against the backdrop of ice and boulders.
These beautiful leopards feed on wild goats, sheep and birds and will occasionally take domestic livestock, which brings them into direct conflict with humans.
The wild population is in decline, as their habitat and prey base dwindle, and whilst illegal trade in their fur has decreased, unfortunately there remains a demand for their bones in the Chinese medicine trade.