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Photos: A Rare Snow Leopard Is Collared in Kyrgyzstan

Introduction

snow leopard in kyrgyzstan collared

(Image credit: M. Gilbert, Panthera, SAEF, NAS, UW)

A snow leopard was collared in Kyrgyzstan in the spring of 2016, the second of these elusive creatures to have been collared by conservationists in six months. The female was specifically found in the Sarychat-Ertash Strict Nature Reserve of Eastern Kyrgyzstan. The finding suggests that at least this population of the endangered cats may be rebounding, scientists said. [Read more about the collared snow leopard]

Mama cat

snow leopard collared

(Image credit: S. Kachel, Panthera, SAEF, NAS, UW)

The cat was a female who had lactated, suggesting she had at least one pup. That, combined with the fact that another snow leopard that was collared in the country was photographed with three pups, suggests the big cats feel comfortable breeding and raising young. That could suggest the population is rebounding. [Read more about the collared snow leopard]

Camouflage

a snow leopard blending into his rocky, mountainous background

(Image credit: S. Kachel, Panthera, SAEF, NAS, UW)

Can you spot the snow leopard? The snow leopard has a mottled coat that allows it to blend in perfectly to its rocky, snow-flecked surroundings. [Read more about the collared snow leopard]

Snowy peaks

snow in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan

(Image credit: S. Kachel, Panthera, SAEF, NAS, UW)

The snow leopard lives in 12 different countries in Asia, usually in rocky, mountainous areas. They have been prey to poachers seeking their internal organs and furs, as well as shepherds hoping to protect their flock. As a result, their populations plummeted in the 1990s. [Read more about the collared snow leopard]

Camp view

snow leopard habitat in central asia

(Image credit: S. Kachel, Panthera, SAEF, NAS, UW)

Here, a view from the Sarychat-Ertash Strict Nature Reserve of Eastern Kyrgyzstan, where the snow leopard was collared. [Read more about the collared snow leopard]