In our collection
We have two snow leopards at Highland Wildlife Park. The male is called Chan and came to the Park from Zoo Krefeld in Germany, whilst the female, Animesh, arrived from Marwell Zoo in England. Both leopards were born in 2013.
Where to see them
The snow leopards can be seen behind the wolverine enclosure on the way up to the viewing area at the top of the hill in the walk around section.
Threats and conservation
As a result of declining prey populations due to hunting, snow leopards populations have also declined. Due to this lack of food, Snow leopards will often kill domestic livestock which angers the local farmers who will then kill them in retribution in order to protect their livestock. A further threat to this species also comes from the increasing demand for bones for traditional Asian medicine.
Today snow leopards are protected throughout much of their range and international trade is banned by their listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
There are a number of organisations involved with the conservation of this species, covering many different areas including research and data storage, education, community-based conservation, and the protection of livestock to prevent retributive killing of snow leopards. Local people are also involved in various initiatives and there are plans to link fragmented populations by habitat corridors, which may improve the chances of the long-term survival of this secretive and endangered cat.