Video Of The Week - Snow Leopard Falls From The Edge Of A Mountain, And Survives!

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Snow leopard at Cincinnati Zoo (Photo Credit: Greg Hume (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

With their thick white-gray fur and black rings, snow leopards are often hard to see against the rugged mountains that they call home. However, a team of photographers that included Mike Birkhead, has managed to capture amazing footage of this elusive cat walking away unscathed, after tumbling off a steep cliff.

The film, shot in an undisclosed location in June 2017, shows the wild cat pacing along the edge of a mountain, when it suddenly loses its footing and falls from what appears to be a great height. While most animals would have not survived the impact, the leopard did not appear to be hurt. Birkhead, who posted the video on his Facebook page, says, "No one had seen anything like it. We watched [the leopard] for another 20 minutes as it walked across a snow face and then disappeared into a cave."

The snow leopard range in the mountains of Central Asia (Image Credit: Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Protection Program)

Experts are not sure how often the agile cats miss their footing. Officials at the Snow Leopard Conservancy say, “The snow leopard is an elusive species, very hard to find, very hard to film. To our knowledge there are no recorded statistics about frequency of falls. However, logic would say that they probably do fall from time to time, given the ruggedness of the environment."

Native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia, snow leopards are solitary animals. The stealthy predators, which usually hunt at dawn and dusk, can kill animals up to three times their size and usually prey on herbivores like the bharal, or Himalayan blue sheep, Argali sheep and the Alpine ibex. Their short front limbs and longer hind ones allow the strong creatures to cover a distance of up to 30 feet (10-meters) in a single leap, while their long tail helps them balance in the rough, steep terrain.

Can you find the perfectly camouflaged snow leopard amidst the rocks? (Photo Credit: Snow Leopard Trust)

The magnificent animals, which have been on the endangered species list since 1972 were recently upgraded to the slightly better vulnerable status, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, Dr. Tom McCarthy, one of five experts who helped the organization decide on the change, says “[that] does not mean that snow leopards are 'safe' or that now is a time to celebrate. The species still faces 'a high risk of extinction in the wild', and is likely still declining - just not at the rate previously thought."

Resources: earthtouchnews.com,worldwildlife.org,facebook.com

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2393 Comments
  • galaxystars123
    galaxystars123Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 9:08 am
    O.M.G di u c the last part of the cat saw the person filming the cat went really close!
    • esperanza-cat
      esperanza-catThursday, May 7, 2020 at 8:48 am
      I am happy the leopard survived
      • shadowsight
        shadowsightTuesday, May 5, 2020 at 7:33 pm
        What in the name of StarClan? This is legendary
        • snowycat56789
          snowycat56789Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 3:10 pm
          I'm so glad the leopard wasn't hurt. I think it was the leopards fur that saved him or her.
          • galaxystars123
            galaxystars123Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 9:08 am
            NO WAY REALLY?!
          • tree11
            tree11Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 7:26 pm
            All man I can't watch the video.
            • animereina25
              animereina25Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 7:40 am
              It just shows the Snow Leopard falling from a cliff of the mountain, and managed to survive.
            • queenscience12
              queenscience12Friday, April 17, 2020 at 10:16 am
              I still can't find the leopard!
              • hannia13
                hannia13Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 10:59 am
                so cute
                • pinkwolfbrose
                  pinkwolfbroseThursday, April 9, 2020 at 8:30 am
                  i cant watch it
                  • queenscience12
                    queenscience12Friday, April 17, 2020 at 10:10 am
                    Neither can I
                    • hannia13
                      hannia13Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 11:01 am
                      me too
                    • belle10
                      belle10Monday, April 6, 2020 at 1:58 pm
                      wow!!!!!how did it survive?????
                      • anum
                        anumSunday, March 22, 2020 at 9:17 am
                        that's so sad and wow