[Wildlife in Gansu] Snow leopard kings of Qilian Mountain

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-10-18


Qilian Mountain National Park in Northwest China is considered by zoologists as one of the most diverse areas for wildlife on the planet. It is also home to the snow leopard. 

In bitter winter, snow leopards wake up and start foraging -- their daily compulsory course. They are lonely walkers and the kings of Qilian Mountain.

Their long and soft hair not only helps them keep in heat, but can also reduce friction while the leopards are on the move. They can run at high speeds without making a sound. 

They use their robust physiques to track and hunt blue sheep, even from thousands of meters away. A single snow leopard can deal with nearly any crisis that comes its way.

In late winter and early spring, their mating period, the valley is usually surprisingly quiet. But when the loneliness becomes intolerable, they will let out a deep bellow.

Their estrus period lasts for a week, and one leopard can mate more than ten times. The leopardess's gestation period is about 100 days, and cubs can go out with their mothers two months after birth.

The environment they live in is quite harsh. Only strong cubs can grow up. Without their mom's help, the cubs dare not wade through the water during their first trip outside.