JOHN BEATTY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BEATTY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Snow leopard pouncing. View of a young snow leopard (Panthera uncia, or Uncia uncia) pouncing at its prey from rocks. Snow leopards are excellent jumpers, and have been known to leap over 15 metres. They live in the Himalaya mountains of central Asia, usually at altitudes of 3000-4000 metres in the summer, but they descend to 2000 metres in the winter. They rarely stray higher than 6000 metres. They feed on large mammals such as the ibex, markhor and wild sheep, as well as smaller prey such as rodents and birds. They are solitary animals, but may hunt in pairs during the breeding season. They may reach 1.5 metres in length.
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