The VICE Channels

    Watch a Trio of Rare Snow Leopards Catch a Meal, Chill Out

    Written by

    Derek Mead


    Hot on the heels of Reuters publishing a snow leopard video, the BBC has fired back with a video of three of the cats doing their snow leopard thing. It would appear that there's something of a competition to get footage of the rare felines, and I'm certainly not complaining.

    The trio of snow leopards above were filmed in the Yushu hills in central China, and are shown taking down some sort of medium-sized mammal before hanging about and doing cat things. Catching a single snow leopard on camera is a feat—not only are they endangered, with just a few thousands left in the wild, but also they count remote mountains in central Asia as their homes, which aren't exactly easy to lug camera gear to—but grabbing three at the same time is incredible.

    According to Panthera's snow leopard expert, Dr. Tom McCarthy, it's most probable that the trio is a mother and her nearly fully-grown cubs, as snow leopards are generally solitary and wouldn't otherwise hunt in a group.

    It's wonderful to see the cats on camera because they're disappearing pretty rapidly. According to the IUCN, snow leopards are thought to have declined by about 20 percent in the last two generations (~16 years). The decline is due to habitat loss and poaching, as the snow leopards coats and bones are prized in Asian wildlife markets. It's rather depressing, as the powerful, hardy cats are incredible creatures.