Snow Leopard

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Snow Leopard

Snow LeopardOriginal.jpg

Character Data
Japanese Name: ユキヒョウ
Romanised Name: Yukihyō
First Featured in: Kemono Friends (2015 Game)
Animal Data
Scientific Name: Panthera uncia
Distribution: Asia
Diet: Carnivore
Average Lifespan in the Wild: 15 – 18 years
Read More: Snow leopard
Conservation Status: Status iucn3.1 VU.svg.png
Snow Leopard Nexon Game

The Snow Leopard is a type of Friend that appeared in the original Kemono Friends mobile game.

Appearance

Snow leopard has long grey hair that transitions into black, which is tied up near the very end in a bow. On her hair around the forehead area are markings similar to that of real snow leopards. She has two grey car ears with a fluffy white interior. Her eyes are light blue.

She wears a short gray kimono with a white trim,a dark blue skirt, and white stockings. All three of these have leopard spot patterns on them. Around her stomach is a blue and gold sash, and she wears blue shoes.

In Real Life

An adorable snow leopard.

Due to their habitat in snowy environments, the fur of the snow leopard is thick and designed to insulate heat well. Their paws are wide, which distributes their weight across the snow as they walk, operating in a similar way to snow shoes. The snow leopard's long tail provides superior balance as they explore mountainous regions, and can also be used to cover up sensitive spots on the body to protect from wind chill.

Despite their range covering a lot of Central and Southern Asia, the snow leopard is quite thinly spread. There are around 3,500 to 7,000 snow leopards in the wild, and 300-700 in zoos across the globe. It favors mountains of high altitudes between 9,800 and 17,000 feet, where their white coat gives them natural camouflage against the snow.

Snow leopards are efficient hunters, and can kill animals three times their own weight. Their prefered method of hunting is by stalking their prey, before pouncing when at 20-50 feet from their target. Their favorite targets include Bharal (also known as 'blue sheep') and mountain ibex. They are not shy of picking on smaller game, however; more bite-size examples include hares and game birds.

Unfortunately, the snow leopard's appetite for larger animals has caused humans to intervene. Herders are keen to shoot any snow leopards they see in order to protect their livestock, and some will go hunting as a 'revenge killing' for any farm animals the snow leopards may claim. This has damaged the numbers of snow leopards in the wild. Living far away from farmers does not guarantee safety, however, as they're also a key target for poachers. The snow leopard's fur is an attractive luxury item, and their body parts can be used in Chinese medicine.

While the snow leopard still faces dangers from poaching and climate change, the snow leopard's conservation status was raised from "Endangered" to "Vulnerable" in September 2017. This was due to the decline of the snow leopard slowing down, which scientists believe is due to conservation efforts and protecting the livestock of farms from the cats.

References

BBC News. (2017). Snow leopard no longer 'endangered'. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-41270646 [Accessed 19 Dec. 2017].

Defenders of Wildlife. (2017). Basic Facts About Snow Leopards. [online] Available at: https://defenders.org/snow-leopard/basic-facts [Accessed 19 Dec. 2017].

Photograph Joel Sartore, N. (2017). Snow Leopard / National Geographic. [online] Nationalgeographic.com. Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/s/snow-leopard/ [Accessed 19 Dec. 2017].

WWF. (2017). Snow leopards. [online] Available at: https://www.wwf.org.uk/wildlife/snow-leopards [Accessed 19 Dec. 2017].

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