- Arrived in Santa Barbara in November 2019 from Hogle Zoo in Utah
- Name means “kitty” in Russian
- Non-breeding female; snow leopards are usually solitary in the wild (outside of mating season or when female is raising young) so SB Zoo perfect home for her
Thick fur insulates snow leopards from extreme hot and cold. Usually associated with the Himalayas, they have been found as high as 19,600 feet in summer months. But snow leopards’ southern range also includes Mongolia’s Gobi region, where temperatures can top 100 degrees.
In September 2017, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced that the snow leopard has been downgraded from “endangered” to “vulnerable” on the Red List.
Preservation efforts are paying off, but the species is still at high risk due to habitat loss, diminishing prey, competition with livestock, and poaching. Recent estimates put the global population at around 4,000, which is on the low end of the scale between endangered (less than 2,500 mature individuals) and vulnerable (less than 10,000 mature individuals).
In October 2013, officials representing 12 Central and South Asian countries endorsed a new global conservation initiative to sustain the cats’ mountain-steppe and mountain tundra ranges.
Support the Snow Leopard Trust
The Snow Leopard Trust is an organization that strives to protect snow leopards and provide a stable income for people living near these majestic cats. Stop by the Zoo’s Explore Store and check out the handmade merchandise or visit www.snowleopard.org.