The snow leopard has always been a mysterious creature, shy and rarely seen. Labelled an endangered species, it saw its numbers declining over the years. But now, with the efforts made by a number of conservation organisations, the dwindling has been arrested.
A video, from China, of a mother helping her cubs across a mountain river is a sweet reminder of just how majestic – and how caring – the snow leopard is. Of course, motherly instincts are not unique to the species, but even so, it is a beautiful, heartwarming sight.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, snow leopards can be found in the harshest of climates in the Himalayas, Bhutan, Pakistan, Mongolia and Russia. In 2017, the International Union for Conservation of Nature announced that it would remove the snow leopard from its endangered species list and label it “vulnerable”. It is still threatened, but the situation is not as dire as earlier.
[Correction and clarification: An earlier version of this article had mistakenly stated that the snow leopard is no longer a “threatened” species. The error has been rectified.]