During the last week of May, our field researchers began to observe some interesting behavior in two of the female snow leopards in our long-term ecological study. Anu and Lasya had started to restrict their movements significantly, and we began to suspect that the two were pregnant and looking for den sites.
We have been monitoring the two cats since we first noticed this pattern, and were able to identify the sites they had chosen to give birth. On June 21st, snow leopard expert Orjan, field researcher Sumbe and their team set out to investigate the sites in hopes of catching a glimpse of wild cubs.
We have heard back from the field, and are thrilled to report that Anu has had one cub and Lasya has had two cubs! They both picked excellent den sites only a few kilometers away from each other–the perfect snow leopard nursery. Both sites are close to water and herds of wild prey, and all three cubs looked healthy and well taken care of.
Photo courtesy of Snow Leopard Trust/Panthera